The Western Church from 1050 to 1250
THE THIRTEENTH CENTURY
Most historians, if asked to choose the two outstanding popes during the centuries covered by this book, would point to Gregory VII and Innocent III. The two form a striking contrast both as personalities and as representatives of their times. Living in a society with undeveloped administrative structures, Gregory had pursued his aims by means of propaganda, exhortation, and symbol rather than by systems of control which would have been inconceivable to his contemporaries. Nor could the detailed regulation of the life of the faithful have any part in his aims. He desired that the church should be 'catholic, chaste and free', that is that the priesthood should be liberated from the ritual impurities of simony, concubinage, and lay control. His own positive achievement was very limited. His extreme policies had divided his supporters and forced him into exile from Rome, and the victory of his ideals, in so far as they were adopted, was the result of the skilful government of his successors.
Government by exhortation is a necessary part of the work of any pope and forms the ultimate basis of all papal authority. Nevertheless the development of society provided Innocent III with mechanisms for the consistent application of policy of which Gregory could not even have dreamed. A well-organized college of cardinals and central administration, a developing system of appeals to the curia and a canon law which looked to the Roman Church as the supreme arbiter were reinforced by other institutions which could be pressed into papal service: the international religious orders, the concept of the crusade, and the emergent universities were among them. By 1200 a major development anywhere within the western church was almost certain to require some reference to Rome. Innocent showed remarkable skill in the use of these resources and deployed them to meet the three external menaces to the Roman Church of which he was acutely aware: the loss of Jerusalem, heresy, and the Hohenstaufen dominance in central Italy. He was also convinced that the first two of these threats at least demanded as a response the thorough reform of the western church and the creation of a pastoral system which would provide instruction and guidance to the faithful. The problems and the administrative resources would have been there, whatever pope had been in office; the authority and vision were distinctive to Innocent.
For all his governmental skills, Innocent was an initiator rather than an achiever. He wrote the agenda for his successors in a way which has been rare in the history of any governing institution. The Fourth Lateran Council bequeathed to the church an ambitious reforming programme which councils and bishops attempted to apply for the next thirty years, and the plans for a great papally directed crusade. His sympathy for apostolic poverty and dealings with Francis and Dominic provided a basis for the creation of two great orders which he did not himself live to see. His use of crusading against heretics and legislation against them were the raw material from which the inquisition was to be forged. Trained as a theologian, he imported into his decretals a rhetoric of papal supremacy which was to form the thought of the canonists of the next generation. Because of the wide range of his activity Innocent's policy expressed, and bequeathed to his successors, the profound ambiguities which marked the medieval papacy. He was at once a man with a sincere love of apostolic simplicity; a reforming administrator who pressed upon the hierarchy the discharge of its pastoral authority; and a triumphalist pope who proceeded ruthlessly and by all available means against the enemies of the Roman Church. The contradictions engendered by these divergent ideals marked the history of the thirteenth-century church, and to them were added two other pressures. The rising tide of eschatological expectation which is particularly associated with Joachim of Fiore sounded a note which had scarcely been heard in the twelfth century. At the opposite extreme of thought, the immensely influential Paris theology, whose pastoral ideals had helped to shape Innocent's reforming policy, was overtaken by a new wave of metaphysical speculation based on the works of Aristotle, which (just after the end of our period) was to produce the most polished statement of medieval scholasticism in the works of Aquinas. In the past a school of Catholic historians and theologians, of whom Étienne Gilson is a distinguished example, was inclined to treat the middle of the thirteenth century as the golden age of the medieval church and papacy. The view has something to be said for it. By then all the great innovations which the papacy had created or encouraged were in being: regular canons, monastic orders, friars, crusades, universities, canon law, papal supremacy, the system of appeals. It is difficult to think of anything which the papacy was to create on this scale before the sixteenth century. It is also true that a new ideal of pastoral care, which was to be profoundly influential in the later history of the church, had by then been formulated. The new pastoral approach was also associated with another very important development, which is quite specific to the thirteenth century: the rapid growth of records. Perhaps it is only chance which denies us the registers of papal correspondence before 1198 (other than that of Gregory VII), for the indications are that most popes kept one; even so, the very impressive registers of Innocent III and his successors would seem to mark a new level of efficiency. Closely associated with this was the codification of the many papal decretal letters on legal affairs into a coherent volume of law, undertaken by a series of canonists and culminating in the edition by Raymond of Peñafort in 1234 which effectively provided the canon law with a second volume of material, the decretals, to match the collection of canons which Gratian had put into order almost a century previously. This drive towards record and order spread widely throughout the church. We know of no episcopal register of institutions to parishes before 1200, whereas by 1250 they were standard, at least in England and France. These records were consciously intended by bishops devoted to the pastoral ideals of the Fourth Lateran as means of improving the efficiency of the parishes, but in practice the thirteenth century was to bequeath to the later medieval church not a regenerated clergy but a vastly improved machinery of bureaucratic control.
The sense of a golden age of papal monarchy and of the growing efficiency of the control of the hierarchy may carry with it an Augustan sound of serene achievement. This would however be an absurd misconception. The first half of the thirteenth century saw a new savagery in the behaviour of the church as crusades were directed against the Greeks, against heretics, and against the political enemies of the papacy in central Italy, and as inquisition and persecution played an increasing part in the life of wide areas of western Christendom. Lands which had been relatively prosperous were depopulated as armies with papal authority incessantly ravaged the Languedoc or brought a baptism of fire to Prussia; in Italy, accustomed as it was to warfare, the conflicts with Frederick II seemed peculiarly savage. Moreover, a new tone was added to these wars by the new eschatological speculations, because the participants saw themselves in contending roles in the apocalyptic drama which was being played out in their days. Perhaps of no other period in the history of the church has the motto been so true, that la civilisation est une fleur carnivore.
THE PONTIFICATE OF INNOCENT III (1198-1216)
In the spring of 1216 a German observer wrote home about the recently concluded Fourth Lateran Council. He reported that it is beyond my power to describe to you everything at Rome which seems worthy of, indeed beyond, admiration; but I tell you that no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived so many different languages, so many ranks of distinguished people, from every nation which is under heaven, who have gathered at present at the apostolic see: Parthians and Medes and Elamites, with those who dwell at Jerusalem. 1
The Council was the most dramatic expression of the monarchical power of the medieval papacy. Under the presidency of the pope there were representatives from all the ancient patriarchates as well as a huge attendance from the churches of the west, and the business done there covered many aspects of ecclesiastical and political life. The reform of the pastoral ministry, the definition of the faith, the uprooting of heresy, the settlement of southern France after the Albigensian Crusade, the civil conflicts in England, and the succession to the empire, were all topics for discussion and papal enactment. Innocent's policy closed one chapter and opened another in many aspects of papal history. The change was the more striking because it followed the period of twenty years in which the popes had been overshadowed by Hohenstaufen power. In looking at this pontificate, we must however beware of an optical illusion. Innocent is the first pope since Gregory VII whose register survives almost complete, and if we had access to a fuller range of his predecessors' correspondence we would be able to judge better the breadth of vision which they brought to the papal office and the extent of the change under Innocent. Yet, this warning being noted, the importance of the years after 1198 in the history of the western church is unquestionable. The papacy was given an unique opportunity with the collapse of German rule in Italy, and its powers were in the hands of a remarkable man.
1 S. Kuttner and A. Garcia y Garcia, Traditio 20 ( 1964) 123, citing 1 Cor. 2: 9 and Acts 2: 9.
i. The New Pope
Lothar of Segni was born in 1160 or 1161. His father was an important landowner in the Roman Campagna and his mother from the Scotti family had many connections with the patriciate of the city. Lothar was brought up and educated at Rome and then went to Paris to study theology. His Paris training was important to him and he remembered it with affection. Peter of Corbeil, who taught him, received rapid promotion to the bishopric of Cambrai and the archbishopric of Sens, and Lothar used Paris men in his service, notably Stephen Langton and Robert of Courson, who were probably his fellow-students. Paris theology in the late twelfth century was no longer shaped by the speculative pursuits which had been evident in the days of Abelard, Gilbert of Poitiers, and Peter Lombard with their interest in dialectic and Trinitarian theology. The most influential master was Peter the Chanter, who concentrated on practical issues such as preaching and penance, for which moral and sacramental theology was the appropriate intellectual preparation. This influence may be seen in Innocent's outlook. He embodied two of the greatest forces in the medieval church, the Roman nobility and the Paris intelligentsia.
Lothar remained in France until 1187. It has been supposed in the past that he then studied law at Bologna under the great Huguccio, but at the most he spent two years there and there is no proof that he had any formal training as a canonist. Although Innocent was to enjoy a great reputation for judicial wisdom, so that he was somewhat satirically nicknamed Solomon III, his skill may have been derived from practical experience in the curia. The evident influence of Paris on his thought, the fact that his own writings were entirely theological, and the introduction of non-canonistic ideas into his definition of the papal office all warn us not to attach too much importance to his Bologna training. In 1189 or 1190 he was made cardinal-deacon of SS Sergius and Bacchus. The belief, held by many historians, that he was largely excluded from the business of the curia under Celestine III has been shown to be mistaken, for he was a frequent subscriber to papal acts and was active in administration. He also wrote two works of devotional theology which were among the most influential books of the Middle Ages. His Mysteries of the Mass (De missarum mysteriis, 1195/7) reflected a continuing element of his piety: he was subsequently noted for his care in saying mass, and his legislation stressed the reverence with which altar furnishings and vessels should be maintained. The book was absorbed almost wholesale into the standard liturgical textbook of the later Middle Ages, the Rationale divinorum officiorum of Durandus (C. 1290). Cardinal Lothar's other major work was The Misery of the Human Condition (De miseria humane conditionis or De contemptu mundi, c. 1196) which survives in almost 700 manuscripts. Its title adequately describes its contents, and it is in modern eyes a strange work to have been written by so active a pope. Although Lothar suppressed or generalized his own experiences in it, there are good reasons for seeing it as the work of a curialist designed to warn himself and his colleagues of the perils of exercising authority. It does not recommend withdrawal from active life, as did most works in the 'contempt of the world' tradition, and it might look very different if Innocent had written his intended sequel on the dignity of human nature, which one supposes fell a victim to his election as pope on 8 January 1198.
We do not know why he was chosen; only that he received a majority on the first ballot and the required vote of two-thirds on a subsequent one. Celestine had hoped to be succeeded by Cardinal John of St Paul, but there are no grounds for the judgement that a politician had been preferred to a man of devotion. Although people were worried about his youth -- at 37 he was probably the youngest man who has ever been elected pope -- his administrative ability, piety, and record of distinguished publication spoke for him. The cardinals (who were mostly good Romans) wanted a firm stand against German power, and Lothar, a Roman noble with a Paris education and thus doubly an opponent of the Hohenstaufen, must have seemed the man for the job. At his election he took the name Innocent III.
The new pope was small in stature, pleasing in appearance, and clear in speech. Personal reminiscences of him indicate that he had a liking for scholarly conversation, was able to find time for leisure among his many occupations, and when hearing judicial cases he was inclined to the occasional bon mot. He showed liking and understanding for men of sanctity and welcomed reformers and critics, whom he was concerned to avoid driving out of the church. His policy bore marks of personal concern for the unfortunate, such as prisoners and orphans. There is also another side to him. One of his opponents in the city at Rome shouted at him, 'Your words are God's words, but your works are the works of the devil', and he was remarkably ruthless in face of opposition. From the beginning of his pontificate he was ready to use force in central Italy and Sicily and, although there had been militant popes before him, none perhaps had boasted of military triumphs in the way Innocent did in some of his early letters. 2
ii. The Papal State, Sicily, and the Empire.
'The heir to Henry VI was Innocent III.' There is truth in Ranke's comment, at least as applied to central and southern Italy. The strong personality which had directed Hohenstaufen policy for almost a decade was removed, with dramatic results for the three lands which he had governed: in Germany there was a disputed election, in Sicily the succession of a small child, and in central Italy a power vacuum. The papal claims there included the Campagna, southern Tuscany, Umbria, the march of Ancona, the Exarchate of Ravenna, and the Matildine lands, and for the legal basis of his policy of 'recuperation' Innocent used the diplomas of Carolingian and later emperors and not the Donation of Constantine. He was claiming 'the lands named in many imperial privileges from the time of Louis (the Pious)'. 3 The Campagna and southern Tuscany had long been subject to papal influence. In the more distant provinces papal rights had not been applied in practice and had not even figured prominently in negotiations with the empire, but they were being carefully documented by papal chamberlains during the latter years of the twelfth century. With the death of Henry VI they came out of the archives into political life.
It was a response to the harsh rule which the Hohenstaufen had, for the first time, imposed on the area. The imperial tax or fodrum had been collected, imperial officers had been established in the Duchy of Spoleto ( Conrad of Urslingen) and the march of Ancona ( Markward of Anweiler), and Henry's brother Philip of Suabia had invaded papal rights in Tuscany. The Roman Church, the cities, and the landowners therefore had a common interest in furthering a reaction against German rule which had already begun before the death of Celestine III. The ancient donations provided a legal basis on which the provinces could reject imperial authority in favour of
2 For references see H. Tillmann, Pope Innocent III ( Amsterdam, 1980), 289-315.
3 Ibid., 104-5.
papal overlordship. The policy of recuperation was already a going concern when Innocent became pope early in 1198, but it was he who shaped its further development during the decade from 1199 to 1209 when there was no effective German presence in central Italy. His propaganda emphasized the need to act against Hohenstaufen oppression, and there is every reason to suppose that he strongly shared the dislike of the German invaders. He claimed in contrast to offer an unexacting lordship and was fond of quoting to his subjects the text, 'my yoke is easy and my burden is light' ( Matt. 11: 30). His power always rested on its acceptability. He did not attempt to impose a close control and, as he found at Narni in 1213 and elsewhere, he had difficulty in disciplining even the smaller towns. Much depended on the support of the nobility, and Innocent's influence in the Campagna was advanced by his own family, especially his brother Richard of Segni who came to control large territories south of Rome and across the frontier in the Regno (the kingdom of Sicily and Apulia). The establishment of papal governors or rectors, usually cardinals, proved possible only in the Campagna and the Tuscan patrimony.
This is not to say that Innocent was content with a merely nominal authority. In the city of Rome itself he had a more secure control than any pope since the rise of the commune. With the help of his connections among the nobles he weathered a period of conflict in 1202-5 and thereafter the single Senator, the senior officer of the city government, was drawn from his own supporters. The revenue from the Papal State was greatly increased by the collection of the fodrum and by tribute from cities which had formerly paid the pope little or nothing. We. cannot evaluate this income, but it enabled Innocent to spend freely in Rome in poor relief and in rebuilding and redecorating churches. Innocent held that the authority of the pope in his territories was analogous to that of any other secular ruler and thus gave the papacy a juridical basis which had not previously been defined. Its character was symbolized by the parliament of Viterbo in 1207, an assembly of bishops, abbots, barons, and representatives of the communes which expressed the fact that a new political unit had come into existence. Innocent was the creator of the Papal State. The term is anachronistic, but it is a useful description of the area of papal lordship in central Italy, whose frontiers were to continue with only limited changes for over 600 years. The Roman Church had always been keenly aware of its temporal interests, but it had now become a territorial power in a more precise sense than before, a state among other Italian states. The existence of this political unit was of doubtful advantage to subsequent popes because it contained no firm basis for central control and was not strong enough to resist outside pressure. It was more of a tribute to temporary imperial weakness than to the strength of the apostolic see. The Papal State was created on the battlefields of Sicily and Germany.
When Innocent became pope the situation in Sicily appeared favourable to the interests of the Roman Church. Constance, the widow of Henry VI, had taken over as regent for her young son Frederick II and was anxious for the support of the pope as overlord of the kingdom. The situation changed with her death on 28 November 1198. Innocent claimed the regency on the grounds of his rights as suzerain, the terms of Constance's will, and his duty to protect orphans. 4 Meanwhile Markward of Anweiler, the embodiment of the good old Hohenstaufen cause, shifted his attention to Sicily and Innocent resolved to combat him by every possible means. Mercenaries were sent to Palermo and a crusading indulgence offered to those who opposed Markward, since he had allied with the Sicilian Moslems and 'become a worse infidel than the infidels'. In practice nothing came of this appeal, but in principle it was the first of the political crusades of the thirteenth century. Innocent also encouraged Walter of Brienne to invade the Regno. It is true that none of these devices was unprecedented: previous popes had levied war, used spiritual censures against political enemies, and made alliances based on self-interest. But Innocent's intervention in Sicily between 1199 and 1201 combined these strategies in an intensive way for which there were few previous parallels and which was designed to enforce a secular claim, his right to exercise the regency. The accidental death of Markward in summer 1201 eased the pope's difficulties but did not solve them. It was only in 1206 that Innocent was generally recognized as having the effective powers of regent. Technically he had emerged as successful, but the success was mainly negative, in preventing Hohenstaufen agents from using Sicily as a base for interfering with the process of recuperation in the Papal State. This success was bought at a great price: a large expenditure of papal resources, the use of spiritual sanctions for secular ends and grave damage to the royal position, for which as regent he was
4 O. Flageneder and A. Haidacher (ed.), Die Register Intiocenz' III, i ( Cologne, 1964), no. 555, p. 807.
responsible. Innocent often in his correspondence wrote of his pastoral duty to maintain peace. It would be unjust to blame him for the outbreak of the civil war in the Regno, but he can hardly be said to have acted there in the cause of pacification.
In Germany the consequence of Henry VI's death was a disputed election. Since it was no longer realistic to support the infant Frederick the Hohenstaufen supporters turned to Duke Philip of Suabia, Henry VI's brother, and elected him on 8 March 1198. The princes of the Rhineland, encouraged by Archbishop Adolf of Cologne, elected the Welf Otto of Brunswick on 9 July 1198. It was an unequal contest, for the Welf party had only regional support and 'the whole strength of the empire supported Philip'. 5 There were also international implications, for Otto was supported by his uncle Richard I of England and Philip by the French King Philip Augustus. It is probable that Innocent favoured Otto from the start, but the breach came from the Hohenstaufen side. In spring 1199 Philip's supporters drew up a statement of their position which Philip approved at Speyer on 28 May. The Declaration of Speyer had a distinguished list of signatories and constituted 'a sharply worded ultimatum'. 6 It claimed that by his election Philip had already received imperial authority and demanded that the pope should not interfere with the rights of the empire and should give his support to Markward. It was a reassertion in new circumstances of the policy of Henry VI, and Innocent flatly rejected it in his reply. It was probably at this point that he had the correspondence enrolled in a special volume, the Registrum super negotio Romani imperii whose creation showed how seriously the question was viewed in the curia. Early in January 1201 at a secret consistory Innocent adjudicated the rival claims of the candidates. This Deliberatio, a careful piece of legal reasoning, found in favour of Otto, and the pope offered to recognize him subject to certain guarantees. These were given at Neuss on 8 June, and included the acceptance of the territorial claims of the Roman Church in central Italy and its overlordship in Sicily. The papal recognition of Otto IV was published by Innocent's legate on 3 July. A further protest by the Hohenstaufen party against this invasion of the electoral rights of the princes produced in response
5 Arnold of Lübeck, Chroitica Slavorum, vi. .2 (MGHSSXXI. 213).
6 F. Kempf, Papsttum und Kaisertum bei Innocenz III ( Rome, 1954), 26. There is considerable uncertainty about the dating of some of the negotiations and hence about the sequence of events leading to the final decision. The view in the text largely follows the dating proposed by Kempf.
the decretal Venerabilem at the end of March 1202. Venerabilem asserted the right of the Roman Church to concern itself with the election of an emperor. In case of a disputed election the pope had the duty of adjudicating the dispute, and in all cases he had the authority to inquire into the suitability of a candidate to receive imperial coronation. Venerabilem completed the process of defining the constitutional rights of the papacy towards the emperor-elect. Innocent had analysed his claims with unprecedented care. Behind the conflict of political interest there were opposing constitutional views about the nature of the imperial coronation, the character of papal territorial claims, and the status of the Sicilian kingdom, with the Hohenstaufen view expressed in the Declaration of Speyer and the papal position in the renunciation of Neuss, the Deliberatio, and Venerabilem.
Papal recognition strengthened Otto's position only temporarily. In the course of 1204 it collapsed, and on 6 January 1205 Philip was crowned at Aachen by Archbishop Adolf of Cologne, who had abandoned Otto's cause. Negotiations were resumed between Innocent and Philip for his recognition. By the spring of 1208 the basis had been laid for an agreement, which included a guarantee of the integrity of the Papal State in return for imperial coronation. The prospect of a new order in Italy was frustrated by the murder of Philip in a purely private quarrel on 21 June 1208. To Innocent it appeared a God-given confirmation of the rightness of his championship of Otto, who was accepted by all the princes at the Diet of Frankfurt on 11 November 1208. There followed a honeymoon period during which the new king enjoyed good relations with both Rome and the princes. Otto expressed his gratitude to the Roman Church and on 22 March 1209 at Speyer he issued a diploma incorporating the concessions accepted at Neuss, and added to these the abandonment of important royal rights over the German churches. In the summer of 1209, even before Otto entered Italy, there were indications of deteriorating relations with the curia, and by the time of the imperial coronation on 4 October 1209 the tension between Otto and Innocent was obvious to all. The matter came to a head when an appeal was received from the Regno for the emperor's intervention there. In October 1210 he crossed the frontier, and his invasion met only feeble opposition.
Otto's power seemed formidable, with a strong army and a united Germany behind him, and his alliance with his uncle John of England, two monarchs united in hostility to the Roman Church, was disturbing. To Innocent he seemed like Goliath; and the only alternative was to reverse his whole policy and sponsor the young Frederick. Even if this were successful, it was a desperate expedient because it threatened to restore the union of Sicily and the empire in Hohenstaufen hands. It was only when Otto proved obdurate that Innocent published his excommunication on 31 March 1211. He did not promulgate a sentence of deposition, but the excommunication was a signal to the reviving German opposition, whose sympathy Innocent cultivated, and they elected Frederick of Sicily at Nuremberg in September 1211. The papal legates were authorized to depose bishops who continued to support Otto. Frederick, in the role of papal protégé, issued the Golden Bull of Eger on 12 July 1213 in which he renewed the concessions made by Otto at Speyer in 1209. He surrendered rights over vacant churches, recognized freedom of the election of bishops and abbots without royal participation, permitted the right of appeal to the curia and promised his assistance in the suppression of heresy. 7 Eger established a new basis for the rights of the German churches, replacing the Concordat of Worms with a settlement far less favourable to the Crown.
Innocent's volte-face enjoyed rapid success in Italy, where German control depended on the continued presence of a large army. The Regno and Papal State were soon out of Otto's control. In Germany the two parties were more evenly balanced until the defeat of Otto IV by Philip Augustus of France at Bouvines on 27 July 1214. The battle was decisive for the struggle in Germany and placed the northwest entirely in Frederick's hands. He was crowned at Aachen in July 1215 and took a crusading oath. In spite of protests by Otto's remaining partisans the Fourth Lateran Council found in favour of his claim to the imperial title. On 1 July 1216 Frederick, still faithful to his alliance with papal interests, undertook at Strasburg that after the imperial coronation he would hand over his young son Henry to be a ward of the Roman Church as king of Sicily and allow him to be controlled by a papal nominee. Innocent had died before the news of this oath reached him, but in the closing months of his life he could have felt that his policy had been a success: his final candidate was secure and was on the path to giving a guarantee against the dreaded Unio regni ad imperium, the union of kingdom and empire.
Such an impression would have been superficial. Innocent had
7 MGH Legum IV Const. ii, nos. 46-7.
claimed the right to intervene in a disputed imperial election and to examine the suitability of any candidate. He had for years sustained the cause of Otto IV, a minority candidate who in the time of success had proved to be a deadly enemy of papal interests in Italy. Innocent did not live long enough to discover that he had done the same thing a second time by raising the formidable Frederick II to the imperial throne. In deciding whether a candidate was qualified, moreover, the prime test appeared to be the territorial interests of the papacy: broader considerations of the welfare of the empire or even of the church as a whole seemed to have small part. It was a dangerous inheritance to have left to his successors.
iii. Innocent and the Lay Power.
The relations of the Roman Church with the empire were dominated by political and historical claims. Throughout most of Europe the popes were involved in their capacity as rulers of the Christian community at large, but this general authority was complicated by a number of special relationships. Hungary, Poland and Aragon, as well as Sicily, traditionally acknowledged the pope as their overlord, and it has been suggested that Innocent wished to extend his supremacy to other countries and thus create a general political supremacy for the apostolic see. It is true that he warmly welcomed the submission of England in 1213, but it would be a mistake to see such relationships as the basis for a system of universal papal authority. The arrangement transferred to Rome a titular overlordship with a limited number of rights and in particular the receipt of an annual tribute. Where Innocent was overlord, he was inclined to intervene more actively than usual in support of royal authority or in exhorting the king to perform his duties justly, but (specific and limited rights apart) he did not behave in a fundamentally different way in tributary kingdoms from other countries, and usually justified his interventions on the same general moral principles as he applied elsewhere.
Innocent often gave expression to his universal responsibility for the maintenance of good government. We may suspect that his application of high principles was frequently shaped by political interest, but of his belief in the principles there is little doubt. He acted for the preservation of peace, sometimes in the interests of crusading but also on general grounds: 'we who are, however unworthily, the vicar of Christ on earth, following his example and imitating the custom of of our predecessors, wish and are obliged to attend to the restoration of true peace and concord between those who are in dispute.' 8 Here Innocent stoof firmly in the tradition of ecclesiastical activity since the Peace of God movement, and he also intervened on the side of the powerless and oppressed, ordering the release of captives in Sicily in 1198 and protecting the claim of the young Ladislas of Hungary in 1203 on the grounds that 'we are required by the office of our apostolate to care for the fatherless, because we are the vicar on earth, however unworthy, of him to whom it was spoken by the prophet, You shall be a helper to the fatherless' . 9 Innocent's whole conception of royal authority stressed the religious duties of the king, as we can see in the oath taken to him by Peter II of Aragon: 'I will defend the catholic faith; I will persecute heresy; I will respect the liberties and immunities of the churches and protect their rights. Throughout all of the territory submitted to my power I will strive to maintain peace and justice.' 10 This is typical of Innocent's approach, which focused on the maintenance of peace, the defence of the Holy Land, and the protection of churches. These were not the whole of a ruler's duties (indeed, some were inclined to treat them as optional extras) but they bulked large in the pope's mind. A great part of his dealings with the secular power was directed to safeguarding the privileges of the church: in Poland he supported a former Paris colleague, Henry Kietlicz archbishop of Gniezno, against the attempts of Grand Duke Wladislaw to maintain the old tradition of strong lay control, and in Norway, where King Sverre had been engaged in a fierce conflict with the church, Innocent ordered the excommunication of his followers and the proclamation of an interdict on their lands. 11
With the growth at once of royal government and of the canon law, the issues requiring settlement became ever more complex. Thus in Innocent's early years problems arose in England as diverse as the complaint of a Berkshire rector about the conduct of royal officers, the king's custody of the lands of the archbishop of York, and the pressure of Richard I upon the Canterbury monks during an interminable dispute between them and Archbishop Hubert Walter. 12
10 Reg. vii. 229 (PL 215.550 C).
11 Reg. i. no. 82, pp. 577-9, 6 Oct. 1198.
12 For references see C. R. Cheney, Pope Innocent III and England ( Stuttgart, 1976), passim.
8 Reg. i. no. 355, p. 530, letter to Philip Augustus, summer 1198.
9 Reg. viii. 39 (PL 215.597 A) Apr. 1205.
Other conflicts were produced by breaches of the marriage law. In 1193 Philip Augustus of France had married Ingeborg of Denmark, but had immediately renounced her. Having secured an annulment from the French bishops he married Agnes of Meran in 1196 and kept Ingeborg in strict custody. Innocent maintained that the marriage with Ingeborg was the true one and made energetic attempts to reconcile them, and on his failure imposed an interdict on the royal demesne in 1200. The dispute illustrates the acute difficulty of disciplining a determined monarch. Philip quickly agreed to separate from Agnes and to acknowledge Ingeborg, thus escaping from the interdict, but in reality negotiations continued over the years until in the spring of 1213 Philip was finally reconciled with the wife he had married twenty years before. The danger of a direct confrontation had been avoided by a long stalemate in which neither side had secured a satisfactory solution. 13 From all this we do not derive the impression of the even application of the moral law throughout Europe. Innocent always had to bear in mind the dangers for the churches which would arise from an open breach with the lay power; and in any case the machinery of the curia was better adapted to responding to petitions than to the equal application of general principles. Thus when in England Archbishop Hubert Walter resigned the important office of justiciar it was rumoured that this was the result of a papal intervention, but it was followed by no general attempt to exclude the clergy from political activity. The pope's action, while strictly in line with the canons, was probably a response to pressure by Hubert Walter's political opponents. 14
The classic confrontation between church and state during the pontificate followed Hubert Walter's death on 13 July 1205. A disputed election followed, and in Innocent's presence at Rome a delegation of the monks elected Stephen Langton, an English scholar who had for a long time been a distinguished teacher in Paris. It was a provocative choice, because the king had not been consulted and was unlikely to welcome a resident of the capital of his enemy, the king of France. 15 Innocent consecrated the new archbishop at
13 It is often suggested that Innocent failed to pursue the matter of the Ingeborg marriage effectively because politically he could not afford the hostility of Philip Augustus. H. Tillmann argues in Pope Innocent III, excursus 2, that the pope did not intend any connivance but was simply unable to resolve an unsatisfactory situation. 14 Cheney, Pope Innocent III and England, 19.
15 The whole affair is admirably discussed in Cheney, Pope Innocent III and England, pt. III. Common sense leads one to suppose that Langton was the nominee of Innocent, who had known him at Paris. We have no evidence to confirm this, and it must be admitted that the pope showed little confidence in his old colleague's judgement.
Viterbo on 17 June 1207 and an escalating conflict began. King John refused to admit Langton to England and expelled the monks from Canterbury. The pope in turn imposed an interdict upon England in March 1208, and John retorted by ordering the confiscation of the possessions of all clergy who refused to celebrate divine service. In response the pope finally excommunicated him in November 1209. Further than that he did not go; the rumours circulating in 1212 that he had deposed John and released his subjects from their oath of allegiance were untrue. The indications are that the interdict was widely observed, and in large parts of the country the only rites available were the baptism of infants and the absolution of the dying. But strikes are an uncertain way of influencing public opinion, which was probably inclined to blame the church rather than the king. At this stage, the church had sustained more damage than it had inflicted: many leading churchmen were in exile on the Continent and their revenues were in royal hands.
The Achilles' heel in the armament of the English king was the hostility of France and dissatisfaction among his own subjects. The discovery of a baronial plot in the spring of 1212 shook John's confidence, especially as there were signs of a combined front against him by the rebel barons, Stephen Langton, and the French king, who on 8 April 1213 declared his intention of invading England. It is not clear that Innocent was involved in these plans, but nevertheless John decided that he must settle his quarrel with Rome. The king met the papal legate Pandulf at Dover on 15 May 1213 and accepted Innocent's terms: Stephen Langton would be admitted and full restitution made to the churches for their financial loss. John was intent on far more than a simple peace treaty and over the next two years he made a series of striking concessions to the pope, designed to change hostility into close alliance. He began by informing the legate that he surrendered the Crowns of England and Ireland into the hands of the pope, to hold them as a fief of God and the Roman Church, for which he would do liege homage and pay a tribute of 1,000 marks sterling each year. John also asked for a legate a latere to be sent to England. The following year he issued a charter granting to all cathedral and monastic churches the right of free election, thus at a stroke ensuring that, in theory at least, there would be no repetition of the Canterbury affair. Finally, on 4 March 1215 John took the cross. From being an oppressor of the church, he had become the executor of Innocent's policy. The papal success was brilliant, but it had its price in the pope's willingness to become John's uncritical protector. The renewal of baronial opposition in 1214-15 met with condemnation, the attempts of Stephen Langton to secure a settlement led to his suspension, and the grant of Magna Carta was annulled by papal letters. The pope's authority was now intimately involved in the troubled politics of England, but it had been placed at the disposal of the king, and was moreover uncertain in its operation because of the delays involved in consulting Rome. In England and in the empire Innocent seemed to have triumphed, but he still depended on the goodwill of men whose purposes were different from his own. It remained to be seen after his death whether the papacy had created a secure basis for authority, either in the structure of politics or in the hearts of men.
Innocent III involved himself in political actions to a greater extent than previous popes, in the sense both that he issued more instructions about secular affairs (whether it was to obey the Crown in England or Hungary or to make peace in France) and that he pursued policies such as the recuperation of papal lands, the exercise of the regency in Sicily and intervention in the imperial election. To speak of 'political' action is to use a modern term, but it corresponds to the impression formed by contemporaries. The question is whether these features were the reflection of a new theory of papal supremacy, or of the application of accepted doctrine in a new political situation. The claims made on behalf of the papacy by Bernard of Clairvaux, or by Bishop Rufinus at the inauguration of the Third Lateran Council, were already large. Did Innocent extend them or merely apply them? He was both a theorist and a politician, and it is wise to remember that his declarations were responses to particular situations, so that Venerabilem in 1202 Contained a careful statement of the electoral rights of the German princes which had been missing from the Deliberatio of 1200. It is therefore not surprising to find a certain incoherence in his contribution to the development of papal theory. On the one hand he added to its rhetoric, creating new combinations of images which were powerful but imprecise; on the other his decretals contained specific definitions which assisted the analysis of technical issues by later theorists.
Innocent denied, in a statement at the highest level of authority, any wish to invade the jurisdiction of the lay power:
We do not desire laymen to usurp the rights of clergy. In the same way, we are concerned to prevent clergy from appropriating the rights of laymen. For this reason we forbid any clerk, under pretext of ecclesiastical liberty, to extend his jurisdiction at any future time to the prejudice of secular justice. Let everyone content himself with the written constitutions and customs hitherto approved. Thus the things that are Caesar's will be rendered to Caesar and the things that are God's to God according to the dictates of justice. 16
There was thus no overt challenge to the classic division between the rights of clergy and laity, but this did not exclude the redefinition of their areas of responsibility. Some passages, indeed, ascribe almost no limit to the power of the pope. In a sermon on the anniversary of his consecration, he asserted that it was said to me in the prophet, I have set you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant (Jer. i. 10). Others are called to the role of caring, but only Peter is raised to fullness of power. Now therefore you see who is the servant who is set over the household, truly the vicar of Jesus Christ, the successor of Peter, the Christ of the Lord, the God of Pharaoh; established in the middle between God and man, lower than God but higher than man; less than God, but greater than man; who judges all, and is Judged by none. 17
That this supremacy was not confined to ecclesiastical affairs is made clear by the statement that his marriage to the Roman Church had brought to him 'a dowry precious beyond price, that is the fulness of spiritual and breadth of temporal powers, both of them great and manifold'. 18 He had a special sense of enjoying divine authority for his actions: in connection with quite routine ecclesiastical business he announced that 'by the common counsel of our brethren, we have proceeded as was divinely revealed to us'. 19 Of previous popes only Gregory VII is known to have felt the same intensely personal conviction of speaking on God's behalf, and even then with a different nuance. Gregory saw himself as the agent of Peter and Paul, charged to strike down iniquity in high places, while Innocent acted under the privilege by which Christ 'left to Peter the government not only of the church but of the whole world'. 20 Although Bernard was a source for some of Innocent's terminology, the accent is markedly different, for Bernard was concerned to reduce the amount of worldly business in the papal household.
Innocent made important changes in the discourse of papal political theory. In particular he combined new imagery from the
16 Fourth Lateran, canon 42, citing the standard text Matt. 22: 21 ( Alberigo229).
17 Serino 2 in consecratione (PL 217.657-8).
18 Serino 3 in consecratione (col. 665 AB).
19 Reg. i. 485 (PL 215.453 A) and i. 435 (415 BC), both to Richard I of England in 1198.
20 Reg. ii. 209 (col. 759 CD).
Bible with accepted concepts to provide more elaborate ideological statements. He was fond of Old Testament passages which elevated the position of the priesthood such as Deuteronomy 17: 8-11, where the Israelites were ordered to submit difficult questions to the priests. Jeremiah 1: 10 had long been used to justify the correction of errors and uprooting of vices, but was now seen as bestowing power to regulate the political order and was quoted as justification for the grant of the Crown to the ruler of Bulgaria. 21 These ideas were brought into combination with the traditional Petrine texts, the authority to bind and loose, the fullness of power and the title of vicar of Christ, to create a powerful nexus of ideas which shaped the thinking of later popes and canonists. Like so many large statements of ideology, Innocent's are not always clear in precise content. Even verbally, they are not consistent: the claim to the government 'not only of the whole church but of the whole world' does not seem to tally with the distinction between the fulness of spiritual power and the breadth of temporal power. In an attempt to achieve consistency some scholars have argued that to Innocent fulness of power ( plenitudo potestatis ) referred strictly to supreme spiritual authority, and that the claim of power over the whole world was also spiritual in content: it indicated universal authority in contrast with the restricted jurisdiction of all other prelates. Such claims would then be consistent with a concern not to invade the rights of laymen. Undoubtedly Innocent did sometimes use the terminology in this sense, but even the few passages quoted here suggest strongly that his claims sometimes included the secular sphere. Few statesmen have ever limited their aspirations to a rigorously consistent scheme, and Innocent was not one of them. 22
Alongside this elaboration of papal rhetoric there were some specific contributions to the definition of church-state relations. Innocent's statement of papal rights over the imperial election was a subtle and precise one which became normative in canon law, and which for the first time officially adopted the theory that the papacy had translated the empire from the Greeks to the Franks. The decretal Novit, issued to the French bishops probably in April 1204 to justify his intervention in the warfare between Philip of France and
21 Reg. vii. 1 (col. 277 C).
22 For the arguments see Tillmann, Pope Innocent III, 22-4 and notes; Kempf, Papsttum und Kaisertum bei Innocenz III, 296 ff.; and J. A. Watt, "Theory of Papal Monarchy", Traditio 20 ( 1964), 273-4. A further complication is the uncertainty whether a given passage refers to political rights within the Papal State or a general supremacy in secular affairs.
John of England, introduced the important distinction between the king's judgement of feudal tenure ( iudicare de feudo ) and the church's decrees about sin ( decernere de peccato ). In Per venerabilem to the count of Montpellier Innocent argued that while he did not normally exercise authority in secular affairs, he could intervene on occasions, casualiter. Some of his other decretals made a start in defining what these occasions might be, and later canonists analysed them carefully. This important element in his thought forbids us to define Innocent's doctrine as a crudely hierocratic or monarchical one which claimed that all secular power was inherent in the papal office; nor, conversely, was it a consistent theory of two independent powers. He produced an elaborate rhetoric of the papal office which was adopted into canon law, and he left behind him a variety of legal definitions of major technical importance. More important still was the practical use to which these theories were applied. Innocent left to his successors a forceful exercise of papal authority which few earlier popes had approached and a resolute enforcement of his secular claims within the empire. His government helped to shape the policy of the thirteenth-century papacy, and the way in which its powers were understood.
'Among all the good things which our heart can desire, there are two in this world which we value above all: that is to promote the recovery of the Holy Land and the reform of the universal church.' These were the priorities declared by Innocent III in Vineam domini sabaoth, in which he summoned the Fourth Lateran Council. 23 Developing the idea enunciated by Gregory VIII on the eve of the Third Crusade, he came to see the failings of the west as responsible for the loss of Jerusalem and its purification as the necessary condition for restoration of the city by God's blessing.
The reform policy was set out systematically in the Fourth Lateran decrees, and many of its elements are found in the pope's correspondence throughout the pontificate. One of his concerns was the obvious one, pursued by successive popes, of remedying misconduct among the clergy. In spite of the many instances of disciplinary action it would be useless to attempt a statistical survey of clerical misbehaviour. The registers tell us of a few intractable
23 Reg. xvi. 30 (PL 216.824 A).
offenders even among the bishops, whose sins ranged from the appointment of under-age relations through the sale of offices and open unchastity to the manslaughter of servants and killing of peasants in war. Such bishops may indeed have been reported because their behaviour outraged public opinion, but often the complaints arose in the course of disputes with their clergy; and they concern exaggerated versions of normal conduct, for bishops commonly advanced their families and, when necessary, employed militias to defend the rights of their sees -- Innocent was active in doing both. It is hard to define 'corruption' in this context, and still harder to estimate how widespread it was. Nevertheless it was an important step to present a coherent policy of reform in place of the sporadic interventions which, as we saw in an earlier chapter, had been characteristic of energetic bishops in the twelfth century. An equally significant change was the sharpening of the cumbersome machinery of inquiry into serious offences. This had required a formal accusation by an accuser who was himself subject to penalties should his case fail. It is true that if there was a widespread report of misbehaviour (a 'defamation' in technical language) the ecclesiastical superior had a duty to take action, but his authority did not extend to examining witnesses, only to requiring an oath of innocence (a 'purgation') with supporting oath-helpers. Only in the case of heresy could the bishop use his own initiative and carry out an investigation. The system had been designed to favour the defendant and to protect clergy from malicious charges by powerful men whom they might 'have offended. Innocent authorized the extension of the inquiry procedure or 'inquisition' from heresy to other charges, and defined it in canon 8 of the Fourth Lateran Council. There were still protecting clauses: it could only be invoked if there was persistent defamation and it required the formal recording of a complaint. In that case, the bishop or other authority had the duty of investigating and of questioning witness. This became the basic pattern of disciplinary action during the later Middle Ages.
Innocent's concern with the correction of abuses extended also to monasteries. In canon law responsibility for monastic discipline belonged to the bishop, but many large and wealthy abbeys were exempt from episcopal authority and directly subject to the Roman Church. The Premonstratensians and Cistercians, for whom Innocent had a particular respect, had an internal system of discipline by means of their general chapters and the supervision of daughter- houses by the founding community. Some Benedictines were becoming interested in the Cistercian structure, and there were proposals to create general chapters in Denmark in 1205 and in the province of Rouen in 1210. Canon 12 provided for the practice to be extended to every province, in the first instance with Cistercian advisers who were experienced in operating it. The project was as a whole unsuccessful, but it was applied in England in particular as a result of the conciliar decree.
Another major concern at the Council was the improvement of the administration of the church. The procedure in elections was defined (canon 24), as was that in cases of excommunication (canon 47). A full record was to be kept of the documents in litigation before church courts -- an important measure which completed the shift from the old oral pleas to a written procedure based entirely on record (canon 38). Clergy were strictly prohibited from involvement in the shedding of blood. They were not to write letters dealing with executions, not to command archers or routiers, not to be surgeons nor to bless the instruments for use in the ordeals of hot or cold water or hot iron (canon 18). These ancient practices were slowly disappearing from the European legal system. The withdrawal of clerical participation was not universally observed, but it stopped the use of ordeals in England and hastened their decline elsewhere. They were unpopular with some clerical thinkers because they appeared irrational or because they were unknown in Roman law, but it must be said that the Council's legislation against them does not read like a piece of enlightened reason but sets the prohibition firmly in the context of the taboo on blood-shedding.
There were other problems within the administration of the church to which Innocent gave his attention. One was the creation of a clerical proletariat by granting applicants minor orders without an appointment or 'title' to provide them with a means of support. From the beginning of the pontificate papal letters insisted on the duty of bishops to provide for such clergy if they found themselves destitute. The policy met with stubborn opposition from the bishops. Stephen of Tournai complained that they could not afford it and had no record of the names involved, and it was reported that the bishop of Poitiers took an oath from 200 ordinands that they would not expect any support from him. The absence of any mention of the question in the canons suggests that the pope could not carry the bishops with him at the Council or even that he had despaired of doing so. 24 A financial question of still more importance was the support of the Roman curia, which had insufficient revenues for its widened responsibilities in the western church. The situation encouraged curialists to maintain themselves by exorbitant charges or actual fraud, and at the Council Innocent made a proposal to assign to the curia a revenue from every cathedral (one-tenth or one of the prebends) with the objective of ending the extortion. Not surprisingly the idea did not win acquiescence and had to be dropped. One consequence of this failure was the continued development of 'provisions' or the assignment of canonries to clerks nominated by papal letters. The author of Innocent's biography wrote of the number of learned and worthy clerks for whom he thereby secured advancement, and this was certainly part of the story. 25 It none the less represented an important increase in the patronage of the Roman church which was to prove capable of enormous extension.
Much the most striking feature of the Lateran decrees was, however, the stress on the pastoral responsibilities of the clergy. The groundwork for such a development was laid in the twelfth century, with the increasing concern to define the special function of ranks within the laity and the growth of preaching. We shall also see, when we discuss in more detail the distinctive pastoral approach of the thirteenth century, that a very active concern with preaching, the confessional, and practical ethics can be traced to Paris shortly before 1200, and it is tempting to suppose that Innocent absorbed the new ideas during his time there. He was concerned to set a personal example, giving counsel to visitors to the curia and preaching assiduously: we have about seventy-eight of his sermons, some of them collected for publication by Innocent himself. The keys to his pastoral strategy were preaching, confession, and the mass, and canonists regarded as perhaps the most important Lateran decision canon 21, omnis utriusque sexus, which commanded every adult to make his or her confession once a year, to perform the penance enjoined, and to receive the sacrament of the Eucharist at Easter. The publication of the decree implies that annual confession and communion were not universal, and the requirement to publish it
24 See Tillmann, Pope Innocent III, 198-200. The increase in the number requesting minor orders presumably reflected the growing career prospects for clerks through study in the schools and service in administration or medicine.
25 Gesta Innocentii, c. 147 (PL 214. ccxxv A): 'ubique per orbem in ecclesiasticis beneficiis provideri.'
frequently and to enforce it upon pain of suspension from entry to the church and prohibition of Christian burial strengthens the impression that a new requirement was being imposed. The decree emphasized that priests must be skilled to give advice and instruction in the confessional. We should beware of supposing that this was intended to be counselling of a subtle kind: in one of Innocent's own sermons there is a dialogue in which a priest urges a penitent to try to give up consorting with prostitutes, and this may well have been the rather basic norm. The canons of Fourth Lateran also contained concrete plans for the improvement of preaching. It was observed (canon 10) that bishops were unable to dispense sufficiently the word of God, 'specially in huge and scattered dioceses' (an unusual recognition of a major problem) and they were therefore instructed to provide competent men to preach, hear confessions, and give penance. These were to visit the people, and were clearly thought of as a sort of diocesan missioner. Canon 11 prescribed that in every metropolitan church there would be an appointment made 'to teach Holy Scripture to priests and others, and especially to form them in things which concern the cure of souls'. The devotion to the eucharist was built up, not only by a definition of its theology, but by instructions to maintain the sanctity of churches and of the sacred vessels, and to keep the host under lock and key (canons 19, 20). Another aspect of pastoral concern was shown in the reform of the marriage law. The reason was the 'danger for souls' presented by the older rule which prohibited marriage within seven degrees of relationship -- a range so absurdly wide that it involved many people in unconscious breaches of the rules of the church and made it possible to obtain what in practice was divorce at will. The Council consciously amended this and restricted the range of prohibition to the fourth degree (canons 50-2).
We can only evaluate the success of the ambitious reform programme formulated at the Fourth Lateran by examining its application during the following generation, but some preliminary points may be made now. As one would expect from a large enterprise, it was not completely original: some of its elements were derived from developments widespread in the twelfth century and others (its more distinctive features) owed a great deal to Paris thinking during the preceding twenty-five years. The hope was to apply the new approach to the western church as a whole. Some of Innocent's policies were not adopted by the Council. These included the attempt to provide finance for the curia and to enforce episcopal responsibility for those in minor orders (two major problems in the later medieval church). Other provisions, like the governmental reform of Benedictine monasticism and the abolition of the ordeal, had only a very limited effect. Nevertheless the decrees performed an important function both of definition and of innovation, and they provided a starting-point and inspiration for later ecclesiastical reform. The most striking feature was the advance from older ideals of cultic purity of the clergy to a demand for an active pastorate directed towards the faithful as a whole. That is not to say that the Council envisaged the possibility of a radically new lay spirituality. The intention for the laity was a disciplinarian one: they were to be instructed in right belief and right action in sermons and the confessional. There was little in the decrees about ways in which lay devotion was actively expressing itself (pilgrimage, processions, confraternities) or about the ideals of apostolic poverty which were beginning to acquire a new life among the followers of Francis of Assisi and parallel movements. The prohibition of the creation of new religious orders may have been directed precisely against such ideas, and may also be another instance of the triumph of the opposition over the more radically minded pope. Whatever the reason, what emerged was essentially the programme of the Paris pastoral school. Like good schoolmasters, the bishops were anxious that laymen should be instructed in their duties and should take their proper place in the life of the church by performing them scrupulously. They also thought it was the job of the laity to do precisely what they were told.
v. The Christian East
Innocent III was the heir to Henry VI, not only in central Italy and Sicily, but in the crusading movement. Henry's death put an end to his projected expedition to the east, and Innocent was ready to accept the responsibility, which he regarded as properly belonging to the Roman Church, for the recovery of the holy places. His first crusading appeal was issued on 15 August 1198 and his plans incorporated two important new features. One was the assumption that the direction would be in the hands of the pope and not, like the Third Crusade or that of Henry VI, of lay rulers, and the second was the institution of a general papal tax on the western churches. In December 1198 Innocent required clergy to pay one-fortieth of their ecclesiastical revenues. 26 It is not clear how much was raised. There was no specific sanction for non-payment, and years later the pope was still complaining that some bishops had not yet made the proceeds available to the Holy Land.
In spite of his determination to supervise the planning of the Fourth Crusade Innocent rapidly lost control. The time-scale was unrealistic and by March 1199, when the participants should have been assembling, little had happened. The real origin of the Crusade lay in the passionate preaching of Fulk of Neuilly in France, and in the initiative of Count Theobald of Champagne who from November 1199 began to gather a powerful group of French nobles around himself. 27 Their preparations seem to have progressed independently of the pope. It is doubtful if he knew in advance of their agreement with Venice in spring 1201 to provide naval transport and supplies, and it is unlikely that he was consulted in the election of a new leader after Count Theobald's death, for his successor Boniface of Montferrat was a supporter of Philip of Suabia. Without a major power to direct it, the Crusade drifted from its original purpose. The Treaty of Venice had seriously overestimated the number of participants, and when the crusaders assembled there in the summer of 1202 they were unable to find the promised payment. The Venetians offered transport on condition that the crusaders would assist in the capture of Zara, an Adriatic city which had fallen into Hungarian hands. In November the Franco-Venetian force therefore took a Christian city whose lord, the king of Hungary, had himself taken the cross. A much larger diversion was to follow. The Byzantine emperor, Alexius III, had secured the throne by deposing his brother, and his nephew, also called Alexius, had made his way to the west. In the course of 1202 young Alexius made the crusading leaders an offer which they could not refuse. In return for his establishment on the imperial throne, he would subject the Greek church to the authority of Rome and would contribute on a handsome scale to the recovery of the Holy Land. The terms were accepted and in July 1203 he was enthroned as co-emperor with his
26 Reg. ii. 270 (PL 215.828-32); English translation in L. and J. Riley-Smith, The Crusades: Idea and Reality ( London, 1981), no. 34, pp. 144-8. For the question whether this was really the first general tax on the church see D. E. Queller, The Fourth Crusade ( Leicester, 1978), p. 2 n. 7.
27 The dates are far from clear, and it has been suggested that the activity of Count Theobald should be placed in late 1198, when it would be more clearly a response to Innocent's appeal. See E. John in Byzantion 28 ( 1958), 95-103.
deposed father under the threat of a Frankish army and fleet outside the walls of Constantinople. In reality there was little prospect that he, a puppet of the hated Latins, would be able to assemble the troops and money which he had promised. He was overthrown by his own subjects, and the crusaders stormed the city. It fell (for the first time in 900 years) on 13 April 1204, and its fall was marked by a sack of horrifying proportions. The Latin capture of Constantinople was a disaster for Christendom. To the Greeks it was an unforgettable outrage. In place of the Byzantine emperor there was now a Latin emperor of Romania, as the Greek territories were called, but his position was always insecure, resented by its subjects, and challenged by Greek successor states in outlying parts of the empire.
Innocent almost certainly did not intend the Fourth Crusade to undertake the restoration of Alexius, let alone create a Latin empire, which nobody had originally foreseen. Yet the pope is not clear of all responsibility: he had already planned a crusade against Christians in Sicily, had threatened military action if Alexius III did not assist in the recovery of Jerusalem, and his reaction to the attack on Zara was not as stringent as it might have been. The dilemma which faced everybody, the pope included, was that the Franks could only secure shipping by agreeing first to the attack on Zara, and then to the diversion to Constantinople. The pope could not take a firm line without bringing the crusade to an end, and this he was unwilling to do. Even before 1204 Innocent had shown himself more inclined to treat the Byzantines as rebels against Rome than any previous pope, and it is therefore understandable that, although he was horrified at the news of the sack, he expressed his delight that the kingdom of the Greeks had been 'changed by God's just judgement from proud to humble, from disobedient to faithful, from schismatics to catholics'. 28
The creation of a fragile Latin rule at Constantinople evoked bitter resentment from the Greek church, as well as constituting a serious distraction from the western effort in Palestine. Innocent failed to recognize either of these problems. He gave unwavering support to the Latin empire and proceeded on the assumption that the eastern churches were subject to Rome in the same sense as those of the west, demanding oaths of loyalty from the bishops. In practice this implied the imposition of a Latin hierarchy, which was in any case the intention of most of the conquerors. By his own lights Innocent was concerned to secure a satisfactory church settlement in the east.
28 Reg. vii. 153 (PL 215-455 C), Nov. 1204 to Emperor Baldwin.
He recognized the continued use of the Greek rite, which for that matter the Frankish rulers had no interest in disturbing. He also resisted the attempts of the conquerors to exploit the churches and expropriate their lands. In particular, Innocent fought a long battle against the Venetians' attempt to dominate the patriarchate of Constantinople and the chapter of St Sophia. It is difficult to see how the pope could have found a satisfactory policy after 1204, but he showed an astonishing lack of perception of the problem. He continued to assume that the Latin conquest had provided a definitive solution to inter-church relations and made no serious attempt to seek for new initiatives in the Lateran Council. A similar lack of realism marked his hope that the expedition might be continued from Constantinople to Jerusalem. His first response had been to order all members of the army to assist the new Emperor Baldwin of Flanders 'for the defence and retention of the empire of Constantinople, by aid of which the Holy Land can be more easily freed from the hands of the pagans'. 29 He retained this comforting illusion for some time and was furious when in 1205 his legate Peter of Capua took the realistic step of dispensing the crusaders from their vow to go to Jerusalem.
When it became apparent that there was no hope that the Crusade would continue to the Holy Land, the pope's attention was distracted by the outbreak of the campaign against the Albigensians in southern France and by the Spanish war, which he supported by an indulgence and which led to a decisive victory over the Moors at Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212. The proclamation of a new expedition to the east did not take place until the encyclical Quia maior in April 1213. 30 This left the final arrangements to the Lateran Council but introduced a carefully planned programme of preaching and liturgical propaganda, which included monthly processions and the singing at every mass of Psalm 79, 'O God, the heathen have come into thy inheritance'. The plans were completed by the Council's decree Ad liberandam on 30 November 1215. 31 The army was to gather for transport in the kingdom of Sicily on 1 June 1217, and Innocent would be there in person. A tax of one-twentieth for three years was imposed on clergy, a much larger levy than before and this time with the full authority of the Council. The whole project was designed to
29 Reg. vii. 153 (col. 455 B).
30 Reg. xvi. 28 (PL 216-317-22); English translation in Riley-Smith, The Crusades, no. 28, pp. 118-24.
31 English translation in Riley-Smith, The Crusades, no. 27, pp. 124-9.
avoid the problems which had plagued the Fourth Crusade: it had longer planning, better finance, the promised participation of three kings (Frederick II, John of England, and Andrew of Hungary), and tighter papal control.
Innocent was dead by the appointed date, and a judgement of his crusading policy must turn on our speculation about the probable success of the Fifth Crusade under his leadership. Its prospects were undoubtedly weakened by his death. His direction would have been more forceful than that of his successor, Honorius, and he was much more likely to secure the participation of Frederick, who in the event absented himself from the expedition. Yet the basic difficulties would have remained. In spite of a hint at the Lateran Council, it is unlikely that Innocent would actually have travelled with the army, and the attempt to control a distant expedition through a legate would have been as awkward as it actually proved to be. The military situation in the east, moreover, was too unfavourable to hope for permanent success from a single expedition which depended on a very long line of communication. Innocent had been correct in believing that only some new ingredient, such as massive Byzantine support, could alter the situation in Syria; where he had for a time been wrong was in his belief that the Latin conquest of Constantinople would make it available.
vi. The Struggle with Heresy
In the repression of heresy, as in so many other areas, the accession of Innocent saw a new initiative. From the beginning he threatened the use of force against heretics and their supporters. His first encyclical to the bishops of Languedoc announced that 'on no occasion do we intend to be stricter in judgement than in the eradication of heretics', and those who acted against them were offered the same indulgence as pilgrims to Rome or Compostella. 32 This looked back to the canon of Third Lateran. More original was the decretal Vergentis in senium addressed to Viterbo on 25 March 1199, in which he equated heresy with the crime of treason in civil law and applied the same penalties, confiscation of the offender's property and disinheritance of his descendants. It was initially addressed to a city under the pope's temporal lordship but was quickly extended outside the Papal State. It offered to catholic princes the prospect of a secure title to the
32 Reg. i. no. 94, p. 137, 21 Apr. 1198.
lands of heretics whom they conquered. Warfare and secular penalties alike required the assistance of the lay power, which was fundamental to Innocent's plans. As he wrote to Philip Augustus of France,
For the protection of his spouse, the universal church, the Lord instituted priestly and royal dignity, the one to care for its children and the other to combat its adversaries; the one to build up the life of its descendants by word and example. . . ., the other to exercise the material sword to punish those who do wrong and to praise those who do right, and to protect with arms the peace of the church. 33
Innocent was even more concerned with the use of peaceful persuasion, especially in winning back champions of poverty and preaching. He defined his approach when a group of Waldensians was discovered at Metz in 1199: 'The depravity of heretics must not be tolerated, but at the same time the religion of simple people must not be undermined. Otherwise our tolerance will make the heretics bolder or our excessive intolerance will confuse the simple and they will leave us and go astray and turn into heretics.' 34 The Lombard sect of Humiliati, which had been condemned at Verona in 1184, was reconciled when in 1201 Innocent authorized the practices of three groups within it: a community of men living under Rule, another of women, and a 'third order' of laymen living with their families. He conceded that within this lay fellowship those who were 'wise in faith and expert in religion' could teach and exhort the others, presumably on the principle that, while the theological exposition of the more obscure passages of Scripture was the preserve of the clergy, laymen could expound the literal text of the Gospels and the Epistle of St James. The Waldensian movement had by this time travelled beyond the point of no return, but it proved possible to recover its more conservative members including the theologian Durand de Huesca, who was reconciled after a disputation at Pamiers in the south of France and whose programme or propositum for the society of 'Catholic Poor' received papal approval in 1208.
This conciliatory policy also enabled new movements to emerge under the protection of the church, and not in opposition to it. The most remarkable figure was Francis, the son of a rich merchant of Assisi. He had been born about 1182 and at first lived as a well-to-do
33 Reg. vii. 79 (PL 215. 361 CD), 28 May 1204, citing 1 Pet. 2:14.
34 Reg. ii. 141 (PL 214. 695-8).
young citizen. He had little formal learning, with probably a smattering of Latin acquired at a parochial school. In about 1205 he turned his back upon warfare and trade, his inherited way of life. His primary purpose was the literal following of the Gospel. By this he understood complete poverty and an itinerant ministry of witness and preaching, which was however combined with a strong reverence for the authority of the church. He began his public ministry by repairing with his own hands San Damiano and other decrepit church buildings near Assisi, and soon afterwards, at mass in the little chapel of the Portiuncula, he was struck by the Gospel command: 'Preach as you go, saying 'The kingdom of heaven is at hand. . . . Take no gold, nor silver, nor copper in your belts, no bag for your journey, nor two tunics, nor sandals, nor a staff ( Matt. 10: 7-10). Since Francis saw himself as living directly under the commands of the Gospel, he did not envisage his followers as requiring a Rule in the ordinary sense, and the one which he submitted to Innocent III in 1210 probably took the form of a simple collection of Gospel texts. After some hesitation the pope gave his approval, insisting that the brethren should preach only with Francis's permission. By the end of the pontificate these followers had grown in number and included a group of nuns, of which the young Clare was the first member. We must not exaggerate the significance of the movement in 1215. It was small compared with the parallel movement of the Humiliati, with their 150 houses in the neighbourhood of Milan. The explosion was still to come.
Innocent was convinced that preaching and reform were integral to the struggle with heresy and was sensitive to the charge that heretics were provided with easy targets by the corruptions of the clergy. As his agents in Languedoc he looked initially to the Cistercians, whose connections with the region went back to Abbots Bernard and Henry of Clairvaux, but the most striking development of the Languedoc mission was the result of the intervention of two Spanish clergy. Their distinctive contribution perhaps reflected the circumstances of their homeland, for they came from a territory which had only recently been a missionary area. Bishop Diego of Osma had been sent on a diplomatic embassy in 1203 and had taken as travelling companion Dominic of Caleruega, an able young man who had read theology at Palencia and become an Augustinian canon. On their journey they encountered Cathar believers for the first time. In the course of a second embassy in 1205 they resolved to visit Rome in the hope of obtaining the pope's permission to preach beyond the frontiers of Christendom. 35 On their way back to Spain they met the Cistercian legates in southern France and heard their laments about the difficulty in converting the Albigensians. Diego produced a revolutionary solution: instead of appearing as officials of high standing they should travel in poverty and simplicity, as the Cathar 'perfects' did. It would be interesting to know whether this project had been discussed with Innocent at Rome, but we have no evidence on the point. We only know that a papal letter of 17 November 1206 gave his support: 'We ordain and prescribe . . . that you take proved men, suitable for the purpose, not afraid in imitating the poverty of Christ who was poor to approach the humble in lowly garb and with fervent spirit.' 36 The new mission was fully constituted by the spring of 1207, when Arnold Amaury, abbot of C+00CEteaux, appeared with a considerable staff of Cistercians to join the two Spaniards. A summer of hectic travelling and disputations followed, and the effort had some success: Cathars were converted, a house for women converts was established at Prouille, and the Waldensian Durand of Huesca was reconciled with the church. The mission, however, was essentially temporary; it could be little else with a personnel mainly of Cistercian monks. It broke up in autumn 1207, leaving Dominic to continue a ministry of preaching based on the nunnery at Prouille.
In any case events were moving in the direction of force. The Albigensian Crusade was not only a response to an emergency but was rooted in Innocent's earlier policies. He had begun his pontificate with an indulgence to those who acted against heretics, and he had appealed to Philip Augustus in May 1204 and early 1205 to 'eliminate heretics from the kingdom of France'. In November 1207 he renewed his pressure. The leading noble of the south was Count Raymond VI of Toulouse, who was treated by northern propagandists as a friend of Cathars. This is probably not true, but nor was he an effective persecutor. In several places within his county Cathars lived undisturbed under the protection of sympathetic local nobles, and they were even more secure under the Trencavel vicomtes of Béziers and Carcassonne. The uncompromising legate Peter of Castelnau pressed Count Raymond to support
35 The details of their travels and objectives are obscure; see M. H. Vicaire, S. Dominic and his Times ( London, 1964), ch. 4.
36 Reg. vii. 185 (PL 215. 1025 AB).
political action against heresy, and when he failed to secure his agreement he excommunicated him. The crusade appeal of November 1207 drove Raymond to renewed negotiations, which ended in an angry quarrel. When on 14 January 1208 Peter of Castelnau was murdered it was natural to suspect Raymond, although there were many in the south with good reason for fearing the legate. The murder redoubled Innocent's determination to launch the crusade, for which he offered an indulgence and a tax on the French clergy. Philip Augustus remained stubbornly uninterested, but enough northern bishops and barons enlisted to assemble a considerable army on the Rhône in summer 1209.
The natural target was the excommunicate Raymond VI, but at the eleventh hour he submitted, promised reparation, and joined the crusade himself. The army marched instead against the lands of Raymond-Roger Trencavel. It was a logical decision because of the number of Cathars there, but it meant that the campaign was directed against territories which had made no preparations against attack. Béziers fell on 22 July 1209 and many of its inhabitants were massacred. The story was later told that Arnold Amaury was asked how to distinguish heretics from catholics and replied, 'Kill them all! God will know his own.' If the story is a myth, it is a true myth: Arnold did nothing to restrain the conquerors. On 15 August Carcassonne capitulated, and its inhabitants had to leave carrying (observed a northern chronicler pleasantly) nothing but their sins. Simon of Montfort was elected lord of the conquered dominions. A series of attempts was made to reach a settlement with Raymond of Toulouse, but the immigration of Cathars into his county from the former Trencavel lands made it even more difficult for him to satisfy the demands of the legates in 1211 than it had been in 1207. When war broke out Simon's smaller army defeated the joint forces of Count Raymond and Peter II of Aragon at the battle of Muret in August 1213.
By 1215 Simon held most of the county of Toulouse as well as the Trencavel lands, and power was being exercised by men committed to the destruction of heresy. Two of the major sees were held by northern abbots who had come with the crusade, Arnold Amaury ( Narbonne) and Guy of Vaux-de-Cernay ( Carcassonne), and Toulouse was in the hands of an ardent catholic, Bishop Fulk of Marseille. Legislation had been introduced to facilitate the discovery of heresy: at Avignon in 1209 it was required that in each parish a priest and two or three laymen should take an oath to report heretics, and Simon's statute of Pamiers on 1 December 1212 protected the privileges of the church. Important centres had been eliminated with burnings of substantial numbers of perfects. It seems that after Béziers indiscriminate slaughter was quite rare, but selected executions of leading heretics took place at Minerve (140 burnings), Lavaur (300), and Cassès (60). The Cathar position in the south was seriously threatened, but two problems remained. One was political instability. The great majority of catholic southerners deeply resented the rule of Simon of Montfort, and he did not command the resources to impose his control outside a limited number of centres. The other difficulty was the absence of any machinery either to win the goodwill of the population by preaching or to track down heretics whom many southerners were not willing to denounce. One immediate initiative was taken by Bishop Fulk of Toulouse. He invited Dominic to the city in 1215a to organize a preaching mission. Fulk's charter echoed the methods of Bishop Diego's old campaign, but it also pointed forward: Dominic was now established with a few followers living in a religious community, and the commission to preach was directed to the group as a whole. It was a small body designed to work in one diocese, but in principle it was the foundation of the Order of Preachers.
vii. The Fourth Lateran Council
At the first plenary session of the Fourth Lateran Council on 11 November 1215 Innocent preached to a congregation of over 400 bishops and 800 abbots, deans, and others. Cathedrals and collegiate churches had sent representatives and there were clergy also from the eastern patriarchates, to form the largest council yet held in the history of the church. His address was based on Luke 22: 15: 'I have earnestly desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer, that is to say before I die.' The last words are curious in view of Innocent's death a few months later, but it is a romantic fiction to suppose that he was voicing a premonition. The 'passover' which he desired was not the council, but a threefold 'passage': the bodily journey to recover Jerusalem, the spiritual journey from corruption to reform, and the eternal journey from earth to the glory of heaven. The address was designed as a programme for the council and, as at all good conferences, the text was made available for those who could not hear the pope's words in the crowded church. There were three plenary sessions on 11, 20, and 30 November. In addition there were separate discussions of major issues, some of them amounting to full-dress debates. Much of the legislation was an expression of policies which Innocent had followed throughout his pontificate, but the council was no rubber stamp. There was a good deal of redrafting, for instance in the crusading decree Ad liberandam (canon 71), and at times the pope had to make considerable concessions. The deprivation of Raymond VI of Toulouse was contrary to his own wishes; he was obliged to withdraw his proposal for a tax on cathedral churches; and the prohibition of new religious orders 'lest too great a variety of religions create confusion in the church of God' (canon 13) looks like a conservative protest against such experiments as the Humiliati and the Catholic Poor.
The legislation about reform and crusade has already been considered in earlier sections. Equally important was the definition of the faith and the struggle with heresy. It was a very long time since the church had produced a new creed (canon 1). It was directed against the wave of heresy and reflected the terminology and sacramental teaching of the Paris masters. It is significant that a definition of doctrine, issued at the highest level of authority, could incorporate non-Biblical language which earlier councils avoided in declarations of the faith:
There is one universal church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved, in which Jesus Christ is at once priest and sacrifice; whose body and blood are truly contained in the sacrament of the altar under the species of bread and wine, the bread being transubstantiated into the body and the wine into the blood by the power of God . . . And this sacrament no one can perform except a priest who has been duly ordained according to the keys of the church, which Jesus Christ himself granted to the apostles and their successors. 37
The impression of Paris influence is strengthened by the spirited defence of the Trinitarian doctrine of Peter Lombard against Joachim of Fiore (canon 2). Canon 3 provided the most thorough statement so far of a programme of action against heretics. Their goods were to be confiscated, and secular powers required to take an oath to drive them out. Catholics helping to exterminate heresy would receive the same indulgence as those who aided the Holy Land; unauthorized
preaching was prohibited; and bishops were instructed to inquire after heretics, taking testimony in cases of defamation and demanding purgation by oath. The council expressed its good will towards the eastern churches: 'we wish to care for and respect the Greeks, who in our days are returning to obedience to the apostolic see, and to maintain as far as the Lord allows their customs and rites' (canon 4). The striking thing, however, is what the Council did not say. No effort was made to create conditions for unity or to discuss outstanding issues, and although almost all who attended from the eastern empire were Latins it was assumed that the process of unification was complete. Canon 5 was supposed to reaffirm the rights of the eastern patriarchs, but it demanded that they receive the pallium from the Roman pontiff and take an oath of obedience to the Roman Church, which could hear appeals from them and send legates. This was to treat them on the same level as western archbishops, and accordingly a disputed election at Constantinople was finally settled by papal decision. The idea, which the Gregorian Deusdedit had still expressed, that the patriarchs should co-operate in preserving the faith had been lost. The whole church was to be directed from Rome.
Alongside these religious issues political controversies were regulated. Frederick II was recognized as emperor, in spite of a passionate statement on behalf of Otto IV, and the baronial opposition was condemned in England and Archbishop Stephen Langton suspended from office because of his sympathy with them. A settlement was attempted in Languedoc by the deprivation of Raymond VI of Toulouse and the recognition of Simon of Montfort, the claims of the young Raymond VII being limited to the family territories east of the Rhône. Bishop Fulk of Toulouse and Dominic had come to the Council in the hope of confirmation for their novel order of preachers. Their ideas may well have influenced the decree on episcopal preaching (canon 10), but the pope, presumably in deference to the decree against new religious orders, urged them to formulate their customs by selecting from bodies already in existence. Dominic's aspirations were still close to those of the regular canons and he could therefore find what he wanted within the elastic Rule of St Augustine.
While attempting to bring to settlement at the Council the issues which were already confronting him, such as the matter of the empire and the Albigensian Crusade, Innocent also provided an ambitious programme for the next phase of his pontificate: the recovery of the Holy Land, the reform of the church, and the further prosecution of heresy. Its implementation was left to his successor, for he died at Perugia on 16 July 1216. His was the longest pontificate in our period after that of Alexander III. He was an unusually able man, equipped by birth and training to direct the affairs of the church. Circumstances gave him an unusually free hand, and he was confident of his ability to govern. We must therefore ask how far Innocent's personal ideals fashioned the changes in the church which were to make the thirteenth century very different from the twelfth. For all his masterful approach, his policy was inevitably influenced by his predecessors and advisers. The programme of 'recuperations' in Italy had been initiated by Celestine III, the first steps towards the repression of heresy taken by Alexander III, and the details of his decretals must have owed a great deal to legal experts in the curia. He also died at a crucial moment, after initiating new projects at the Council, so that he did not have to face the difficulties in which his policies became enmeshed through the stubborn resistance of Raymond of Toulouse or the ambitions of Frederick II. Nor could he have foreseen the spectacular success of the friars as international agents of the papacy. Fate had tricks and treats in store of which Innocent had no conception in 1216.
Among these uncertainties it is still possible to identify some of Innocent's personal contributions, and they are striking. He devoted himself to the needs of Christendom, by which he understood crusade, reform, and the correction of heresy. He originated the Fourth and Fifth Crusades and formulated a reforming programme for the next generation. He was not afraid to challenge ancient institutions such as the ordeal or the prohibition of marriage within the seventh degree. He restored the link between the Roman Church and the apostolic poverty movement, which his predecessors had broken, and his sympathy for Francis and Dominic was crucial in the prehistory of the friars. He put into action on a large scale the use of indulgence and crusade against heresy for which his predecessors had provided precedents. He was determined in his defence of the political rights of the Roman Church, effectively creating the Papal State and involving papal authority in the internal politics of the empire and of England and other kingdoms. His pursuit of these policies sat uneasily with his attempt in the decretals to distinguish between royal rights and ecclesiastical ones, and it left the Roman Church with a tradition of fierce defence of its political claims in the Italian peninsula. The potential conflict between his political and ecclesiastical aims was partly concealed from Innocent by his conviction of his special position between God and man. He left an enriched vocabulary for the papal fullness of power, but did not clearly discern the practical and theoretical limits to its exercise.
The language of unlimited authority did not describe reality. Although the growing power of the curia had eroded the rights of national churches, kings too had at their disposal an improved machinery of government, and bishops and abbots retained resources in revenue and influence which meant that they were far from being mere subjects of papal monarchy. Rome did not possess the machinery to direct in detail the affairs of the western churches, nor the revenue to finance its enterprises, which often had to depend on self-interested allies and out-of-date information. At times Innocent's policies followed strangely circular routes: in England a long struggle to install Stephen Langton as archbishop ended in his suspension by the pope, and in the empire he stubbornly resisted one Hohenstaufen only to sponsor another in whose person the union of Germany and Sicily was renewed. Innocent is a test case for papal monarchy, because no pope in history was so fitted by talent and cirumstances to make it workable. The language became progressively more absolute, but rhetoric had outstripped reality. The curia could respond to outside pressure, exert moral influence, and enlist the sympathy of interested parties; but only rarely could it command.
FRIARS, BEGUINES, AND THE ACTION AGAINST HERESY
i. The Growth of The Friars
At the death of Innocent III, Francis of Assisi and Dominic of Caleruega were at the head of small religious fellowships. Dominic had about sixteen followers resident at a house in Toulouse as preachers in the diocese; Francis had a larger body of disciples in Umbria, living under the simple rule or 'intention' approved by Innocent in 1210. These two societies were to become the most innovative force in the thirteenth-century church.
There is much contemporary material about Francis, including his own brief reminiscences in the Testament and the two versions of his life written by Thomas of Celano in about 1228 and 1245. All these works bear the marks of controversies which began in his own lifetime, and it is hard to distinguish between accurate reporting, coloured recollection, and propaganda. The impact of Francis was so great that it is tempting to see him as radically original, especially as this is confirmed by his own belief that he had received a message from God which was to be carried to the whole of humanity: 'no one showed me what I ought to do, but the Most High himself revealed to me that I ought to live according to the form of the holy Gospel'. 1 In this confidence he addressed himself 'to all Christians, religious, clerks and laity, men and women, all who live in the whole world'. 2 Yet his message was also shaped by the society in which he lived. People were leaving the cities of Umbria to live as penitents in the wilderness, and the first stage in his ministry was to join their ranks: 'the Lord caused me, brother Francis, to begin doing penance in this way'. 3 His conviction that he was called 'to live according to the form of the holy Gospel' had been anticipated by hermits and
1 Francis, Testament (SC 285, p. 206).
2 Francis, Epistola ad fideles, ii. 1 (p. 228).
3 Francis, Testament, 1 (p. 204).
preachers, among them Stephen of Muret and Rainier of Pisa, and in another way by Waldensians, Humiliati, and Cathars. 4 The severity of Italian hermit orders such as Camaldoli was echoed in Francis's life-style and he rejected any suggestion that he should follow the Rules of Augustine and Benedict, those two great moderators of monastic extremes. Like a number of the radical preachers in the twelfth century, Francis at first probably had an ambition to include women within the sphere of his ministry. He may well have taken the initiative in persuading the young Clare of Assisi in 1212, at the age of 17, to take a vow to follow the path of Gospel perfection. In the early days Clare and her small group of followers, based at San Damiano just outside the walls of Assisi, seem to have followed a life which included a practical ministry to the poor outside the convent walls.
It was, indeed, the special genius of Francis to be immoderate. No one has ever been less disposed to compromise, nor affirmed the underlying paradoxes of the Gospel with so little desire to find a middle way. The basis of his thinking was a combination of Gospel texts and simple images, and gives us a glimpse of a lay piety of which we know too little. It did not provide him with the means of recognizing contradictions or resolving them. His consciousness of a universal mission went hand in hand with the rejection of the means which would make an international ministry possible: he wanted no papal exemption, no formal education, in a sense no Rule. His conviction that his little brothers ( fratres minores, friars minor) must be obedient to all, especially to the authority of the church, was absolute; so was his affirmation that no friar was bound to do what he thought was unlawful. 5 He saw the natural order as a reflection of God's glory, and combined this world-affirmation with the denial to the brothers of even the most basic securities of religious orders: they were to live by labour and by begging, to have no corporate revenues and never handle money. Francis saw this spirituality of obedience and freedom as a reflection of the life of Christ. His piety revolved round the Nativity and the Passion in a way which reminds us strongly of the Cistercians before him. A vision before the crucifix at San Damiano had been a decisive stage in his conversion, and at
4 For Rainier, see J. Sumption, Pilgrimage ( London, 1975), esp. 173 ff.
5 Regula non Bullata, v. 2, (p. 130): 'if any of the ministers commands anything to any brother which is against our life or against his soul, he is not obliged to obey him.' The clause occurs in a weaker form in Regula Bullata, x. 3 (pp. 194-6).
Greccio in Christmas 1223 he brought the crib scene into popular devotion. His programme contained profound insights into the Gospel, and it is easy to understand why men were inspired by it. It is equally plain that it was a recipe for trouble.
The rapid growth in the number of Francis's followers led to a decision in 1217 to send missions north of the Alps and to appoint provincial ministers to improve the supervision of the growing movement. The missions were wretchedly planned: the brothers, unprotected by papal recommendations and, in Germany, unable to speak the language, won little sympathy and were even taken for Cathars. As a result in 1219-20 proposals were put forward to change the friars into something more like a traditional order, to adopt a version of the Benedictine or Augustinian Rule, and to secure papal protection. When he heard what was happening Francis, who was in the eastern Mediterranean, hastily returned. 6 The growth of the order had brought to the surface the incoherence which underlay Francis's mission, and he never again exercised direct control, appointing Peter Catani as vicar-general and then, on his death on 10 March 1221, Elias of Cortona to succeed him. Francis withdrew to the mountains, especially to his beloved Rieti valley, where he spent much of his remaining years in seclusion with Leo and a few other companions. The culmination of this time of withdrawal was the experience at La Verna on Holy Cross day, 14 September 1224, when a vision of the crucified Christ left him with the stigmata, the marks of the wounds on his feet, hands, and side. The episode was concealed during his lifetime, but there is little reason to doubt its historicity.
Meanwhile the society was pursuing an unsteady course towards normalization. The first papal privilege, Pro dilectis filiis, was issued on 29 May 1220 and ordered bishops to permit friars to preach in their dioceses. Attempts were made to draw up a rule which would embody the original inspiration of Francis while rendering the order governable, but the drafting proved highly controversial. The Regula Non Bullata of 1221 contained strong elements of Francis's radical message of freedom, and was not adopted. The final version, the Regula Bullata, was revised by the sympathetic Cardinal Hugolino, an admirer of Francis and protector of the movement, and received the approval of Honorius III on 29 November 1223. It remains the
6 There is uncertainty about the sequence of events as the general chapters for these years cannot be securely dated. See K. V. Selge, "Franz von Assisi und die Römische Kurie", Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche 67 ( 1970), esp. 151-7.
definitive Rule, and by traditional monastic standards it was a very radical document, even if the pronouncements of liberty in its predecessor had been toned down. Its character may be illustrated by the provision that 'the friars shall appropriate nothing to themselves, not a house nor a place nor anything else'. 7 This statement of absolute poverty opened the door to a compromise: the friars could use the premises of their patrons, and once they received papal protection for these the position was only formally different from ownership. Hugolino, who perhaps introduced the clause, was to move the friars several stages along this path when he became pope as Gregory IX. The approval of the Rule was not the end of the matter, for on his deathbed Francis produced his Testament, a moving statement of the inspiration of the early days. Its authority was difficult to determine: he stressed that he was not attempting to supersede the Rule but nevertheless commanded that both should be observed together. 8 When he died on 3 October 1226Francis left behind him a strange situation. He was the founder of a great movement, a man of tremendous magnetism and revered as a saint in his lifetime. Conversely he had lived in retirement, was unknown to most of the recruits to the expanding society, and left behind him a document which imposed a distinctive interpretation upon the Rule.
We do not know whether Francis and Dominic ever met. The theme inevitably attracted writers and painters to put forward their best inventive talents, but there is only one account which carries much conviction, the description in Thomas of Celano's second Life of an encounter at Rome in the house of Cardinal Hugolino. Neither the date nor the reality of the meeting of the two founders is certain, but there is a temptation to place it late in 1216 and attribute to it the sharp change of course which Dominic followed in the following year. Before that, he had responded to Innocent's invitation at the Lateran Council by adopting the Augustinian rule with a particularly severe set of customs selected from the Premonstratensians. The community was to own no property, but only revenues -- an unusually strict policy, but far from the style of poverty advocated by Francis. 9 This was the programme approved by the new pope,
7 Regula Bullata, vi. 1 (p. 190): 'Fratres nihil sibi approprient nec domum nec locum nec aliquam rem'.
8 Francis, Testament, 24-6, 34-9 (pp. 208-10).
9 Our knowledge of early Dominican legislation is based on the constitutions accepted by the general chapter of 1228. The problem is then to distinguish, with the aid of Jordan of Saxony's chronicle, between the customs of 1216, the legislation of 1220 and the additions of later years. See M-H. Vicaire, S. Dominic and his Times ( London, 1964), app. V, and R. B. Brooke , The Coming of the Friars ( London, 1975), 189-200.
Honorius III, in Gratiarum omnium on 21 January 1217. The text contains little beyond an exhortation to the 'prior and brothers of St Romain, preachers in the region of Toulouse' to continue their work there, but it thereby gave authorization to a whole community to exercise the right of preaching. This was effectively unprecedented because preaching, as Fourth Lateran had recently reaffirmed, was an episcopal function, and its exercise depended in each case on the bishop's commission. 10 With Gratiarum omnium the Dominicans were recognized as a special form of regular canons, with the right to preach vested in the community as a whole.
In any event on Dominic's return from Rome he revealed new and far-reaching plans. No contemporary gave an adequate account of the reason for the abrupt change, but it is natural to suppose that it had been formulated early in 1217 at Rome, where it could have been discussed with Francis and authorized in principle in Gratiarum omnium. It was probably at Pentecost 1217, precisely when the Franciscans were agreeing to send missions outside Italy, that Dominic announced his intention to disperse his followers. Some would go to Paris, others to Spain, while a few remained at Toulouse and Dominic himself would return to Rome. The brethren understandably 'were all astonished when he pronounced the decision to which he had come so suddenly', and it was opposed by Bishop Fulk and Count Simon. 11 Dominic also began to press his brethren to give up their assured revenues and live by begging. In spite of the strongly Franciscan overtones of these proposals there remained important differences. Dominican expansion was protected by papal privileges, which Francis was reluctant to invoke, and it was focused on the universities. The largest group was sent to Paris, and a house soon established at Bologna under the canonist Reginald of St Aignan. The legislation of the general chapter of 1220 confirmed the change, showing no further dependence on the customs of regular canons and embodying the principle of communal poverty: 'on no account may possessions or rents be received'. It was provided that
10 There was a distant precedent in Gregory VII's grant of power to preach and hear confessions to Provost Odfrid and the canons of Watten in Flanders in 1077, but that was motivated by the need to replace the ministry of a simoniacal bishop. Innocent's recognition of the Humiliati and Franciscans did not go further than the right of lay brothers to exhort others. Gratiarum omnium was essentially original, and it was subsequently understood as conveying a universal power to preach, not merely in the diocese of Toulouse. See the excellent discussion by J.-P. Renard, La formation et la désignation des prédicateurs au début de l'Ordre des Prêcheurs ( Freiburg, 1977).
11 Jordan c. 47 (Brooke, Coming of the Friars, 170).
the general chapter was to be held alternately in Paris and Bologna, and that the study of theology should be given precedence among the activities of the brothers. 12 The declaration that 'our order is recognized to have been founded especially for preaching and the health of souls, and our zeal should be chiefly and ardently directed to the end that we can be useful to the souls of our neighbours' breathed the spirit of cura animarum characteristic of regular canons, but now refined by the sense of spiritual direction which was becoming widespread. 13 It also indicated that a man joined the Order of Preachers not for his own good, but out of a calling to serve others. Dominic only survived the first Bologna chapter by a year or so, dying on 6 August 1221 at the house of St Nicholas at Bologna, but the main principles of the order had been firmly established.
By 1228 the order had formulated a new system of government. At each level of administration (convent, province, and order) a superior was elected, but the government was not then left in his hands. The chapter in each province was attended by large numbers of friars and legislation was placed in the hands of the provincial prior and four elected diffinitors. The general chapter had a double form. Every third year it consisted of the provincial priors, but in the other two years its membership was the master general together with one diffinitor from each of the eight provinces. New measures required the consent of each of the two types of chapter. Some elements in this system were drawn from the Cistercians and other orders, but it was radically original, as the Dominicans were well aware. It abandoned the old principle of obedience to the abbot, which was no longer applicable in an order where the members regularly moved from one convent to another, and it provided for the community as a whole to deliberate on policy. This constitution belonged to the world of guilds and estates, in which representation was beginning to appear at both the urban and national levels, but its adoption by the Dominicans at this early stage must have helped to establish it in secular society. It was the remote ancestor at once of modern techniques of representation and of such complex structures as the government of republican Venice. In all this the Dominicans owed nothing to the Franciscans, who were in a state of crisis long after their fellow friars had provided themselves with a secure and balanced scheme of administration.
12 Constitutions, XXVI. 1, XIII. 2, and XXVIII-IX ( Brooke, Coming of the Friars, 197-9).
13 Constitutions, prol. 2 (191) which may have originated in 1216 or 1220.
The new system of government had to serve (or, in the case of the Franciscans, failed to serve) the needs of two orders which were expanding at astonishing speed. Shortly after 1260 Brother Jordan of Giano looked back over forty years of Franciscan mission: 'When I consider my own lowly state, and that of the others who were sent with me to Germany, and when I consider the present state and glory of our order, I am astounded and praise the divine mercy in my heart'. 14 By 1250 there were houses of friars in every part of western Christendom. The Preachers had about 20 houses at Dominic's death; by 1234 they had almost 100, and by 1277 over 400. Italy was the main centre for both orders, but they were expanding rapidly everywhere. By the middle of the century it is possible to count 38 houses of Preachers in Germany and over 100 of Minors, and in England Thomas of Eccleston counted 1,242 brothers minor in 49 places there in 1255, thirty-two years after their first arrival. 15 In direct contrast with the Cistercians, whose expansion had anticipated theirs, the friars founded their houses in the cities. Recent studies have indicated that they were very responsive indeed to urbanization. In Germany their first settlements were on the Main and lower Rhine, where the major cities were located, and they moved south and east as the wave of urban growth preceded them. The choice of the cities as their centre of activity was scarcely a conscious one. The Franciscans had been formed in the world of Italian communes, and from 1215 the Dominicans were centred in cities and found most of their recruits there. Their way of life was adapted to the city. Communities could only live by mendicancy in large centres of population, and as establishments became larger they tapped urban sources of revenue and came to derive a modest security from donations and bequests by townsmen. The Dominican Humbert of Romans explained the advantage of a city-based ministry: there are more people in cities, and they are therefore the best places to preach; there are more sins there and more need of repentance; and the region around the city is influenced by its standards. 16 Also important was the presence of schools. After the dispersion of 1217 Paris and Bologna became the Dominican centres, and a decade later Jordan of Saxony, on a visit to Oxford, reported his 'ample hopes of a good
14 H. Boehmer (ed.), Chronica Fratris Jordani ( Paris, 1908), prol. p. 2.
15 A. G. Little (ed.), Fratris Thomae de Eccleston De Adventu Minorum in Anglia ( Manchester, 1951), ii. p. 11.
16 Cited and discussed by J. le Goff, "Ordres mendiants et urbanisation", Annales 25 ( 1970), 929-30.
catch' among the students. 17 Although the Franciscans began as a lay and unlearned order they began to recruit in the schools during Francis's lifetime. Their first outstanding scholar was in a sense an accident: Antony of Padua was a regular canon who in 1220 encountered a mission in his native Portugal. Soon after this, students and masters began to join on an important scale. At Paris four doctors, among them the Englishman Haymo of Faversham, were recruited in 1225, and they were later followed by Alexander of Hales, the university's most respected theologian. At Oxford the Franciscans established an outstanding theological school under the headship of the secular master Robert Grosseteste.
While the ministry of the friars was distinctively urban, it had a wide significance. They offered preaching where the ordinary clergy were unskilled and adaptability where traditional monks were tied to one house: they could be used in disputing against heretics and investigating them, in the struggle against Frederick II and in missions beyond the frontiers of Christendom. The most spectacular illustration of their impact came in the revival which swept the cities of Lombardy in 1233, which came to be known as the Great Devotion or the Alleluia. It was described by a witness at the canonization process of Dominic in 1234, who spoke of the saint's enormous influence, as is plain by its effect on the cities of Lombardy, in which a great many heretics have been burned, and more than 100,000 people who did not know whether they ought to support the Roman Church or the heretics have been converted sincerely to the catholic faith of the Roman Church by the preaching of the Friars Preacher . . . And almost all the cities of Lombardy and Marche handed over to the friars their acts and statutes for adjustment and amendment according to their will, to erase, add, subtract and change as seemed appropriate to them. And this they did to end the warfare and make and establish peace among them, and to restore usury and wrongful acquisitions and hear confessions and many other good things which would be too long to report. 18
At the Ghibelline city of Verona the Dominican John of Vicenza was actually given power as rector or podestà, basing his actions on the support of the people and thus anticipating the later despots. The high tide of enthusiásm soon receded: the general chapter forbade
17 Jordan, Letter to Diana Dandolo ( Brooke, Coming of the Friars, 188).
18 Acta canonizationis S. Dominici, ed. A. Walz, Monumenta Ordinis Fr. Praedicatorum Hist. 16 ( Rome, 1935), 158-9.
this type of involvement and Gregory IX disowned John of Vicenza. Yet it was only an extreme example of a general trend. The friars exercised their influence by their preaching and living, by counsel, and in some cases through inquisition into heresy. They did not join the traditional establishment, at least in the time of Gregory IX, who was sensitive to their ideals. If we omit the special case of missionary bishops, no Franciscan received episcopal office in his time, and few Dominicans did. Things were to change in the 1240s under Innocent IV. At the beginning of his pontificate he confirmed the nomination of the Franciscan Leo dei Vavassori as archbishop of Milan, and by 1261 we can count nineteen Franciscans who had been bishops in Italy alone, and the true number must be larger.
The first convents of friars were very modest. On arrival the Franciscans were ready to move into any rooms or undercrofts which were put at their disposal. Dominican requirements were slightly more complex because as canons they required a church in which to say the offices, but they were concerned that the provision should only be simple. The general chapters of 1220 and 1228 both legislated against building lofty churches and convents, and at Florence for example they received a small eleventh-century church, Santa Maria Novella, which had a tiny chapel attached which could be used as a chapter-house. In the first twenty years of expansion the two orders produced just one building each of any architectural pretensions. At Bologna the church of St Nicholas delle Vigne, which contained the tomb of St Dominic, was greatly enlarged; this is now the church of San Domenico, but has been changed beyond recognition in later centuries. Much more dramatic was the vast basilica planned at Assisi as a shrine to St Francis. Otherwise major building began after 1240 and then proceeded apace. Growing numbers meant larger accommodation, and the popularity of the friars' preaching demanded larger churches 'to take people for sermons', as it was said at Antwerp in 1243. Quite often there was insufficient room on the original site and the convent had to move, as the Dominicans did at Limoges in 1241. This increased the tendency to establish their houses in the working-class areas of the suburbs, where sites were cheaper and audiences closer at hand. Attracting the laity by their preaching and confessional skill, binding them by pious confraternities, the friars were on the way to creating a supplementary parochial ministry which at times dominated the old: well before 1300 the friars' churches at Florence, Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce, were bigger than the old cathedral. They were designed as great auditory chambers for addressing the people, but they brought with them growing display and increasing concern for revenue.
From the beginning the friars hoped to carry out a supplementary ministry with the agreement of existing churches, and bishops all over Europe from Robert Grosseteste at Lincoln ( 1235-53) to Federigo Visconti at Pisa ( 1254-77) were delighted to have their help. Inevitably a flow of complaints began from the secular clergy about the pastoral activity of the friars, who were interfering with their duties and deflecting the offerings of the laity. The friars defended themselves by papal privileges, in spite of Francis's original reluctance to obtain them, up to the time of the issue of the crucial general bull Nimis iniqua on 28 August 1231. The full-scale conflict was to arise just after 1250, with a fierce controversy at Paris and a series of changes in papal policy, but the tension between friars and seculars had already become apparent.
The transition from a small band of brothers to an international society with great responsibilities and privileges had taken place in a lifetime: several of Francis's closest companions, including Clare, Giles, and Leo, outlived the middle of the century. Among the Dominicans there were some who looked back with regret to the old simplicities, but the impact upon the Franciscans was far greater. One reason for this was the unsatisfactory nature of their constitution, which meant that they had no effective way of reaching a decision which would command general obedience. An additional strain was imposed by the place which the friars came to occupy in the church. What the hierarchy valued was help which could best be provided by scholars and clergy. These were the recruits for whom the Order of Preachers had always been designed, but the clericalization of the Franciscans had drastic effects on the original conception of the order. Imposed on the tensions already generated by Francis's distaste for any existing rule, for papal privileges, and for property or assured revenues, it created deep divisions within the society. Although historians do not agree on the matter, it is probable that the crises which shook the order were not produced by distinct issues on each occasion, but by the seismic fault which lay beneath its foundations. The tensions had been apparent in 1219-20, and again in Francis's Testament. After the saint's death the Pentecost chapter of 1227 chose John Parenti as minister-general in preference to Elias, Francis's own choice as vicar in 1221. Elias was given responsibility for the construction of the great basilica at Assisi which was to be the resting-place of the saint's body and an international pilgrimage centre of the first rank. In July 1228Pope Gregory IX, who as Cardinal Hugolino had been Francis's friend and protector, visited Assisi to proclaim the canonization of Francis, commission his Life from Thomas of Celano, and lay the foundation stone of the great church. Two years later in the bull Quo Elongati of 28 September 1230 he clarified two of the uncertain points in the government of the order: the Testament was said to have no binding authority and permission was given for buildings and property to be owned by friends of the order and made available for its use. All these decisions under papal authority between 1228 and 1230 may well have commanded the support of most friars, even if they were little to the taste of brother Leo and his circle or Clare at her convent of San Damiano. In 1232 the party of Elias, who was enthusiastically championed by the Italian lay friars, put such pressure on John Parenti that he resigned and left the way open for Elias to become minister-general. Elias is a tragic figure in Franciscan history. He had been close to Francis and had expressed his veneration through the planning of the basilica, but his time as minister was a disaster. He governed autocratically and was accused of living in luxury. The opposition was led by the magistri of the northern provinces, who had not known Francis and were impatient of government by uneducated laymen. Elias was deposed in 1239 and tarnished his reputation further by entering the service of Frederick II . He was succeeded by the first priest to be minister-general, Albert of Pisa ( 1239-40), and then by the first theologian, Haymo of Faversham ( 1240-4). The position of the general chapter was strengthened and recruiting restricted almost completely to educated clergy. The fall of Elias ended the experiment of a society run by laymen with a distinctive piety yet with papal approval. The most hopeful attempt to break through the clerical monopoly of religion had been abandoned.
ii. Religion for Women: the Rise of the Beguines
At that time there were some people, in Germany especially, who described themselves as religious and received a religious habit, but not strictly. They were of both sexes, but mainly women. They professed continence and simplicity of life by a private vow, but not bound by the rule of any saint, nor were they confined in any cloister. Their numbers increased so much in a short time that two thousand were to be found in the city of Cologne and its neighbourhood. 19
Thus the English Benedictine Matthew Paris described the Beguines. As he indicated, it was primarily a women's movement, and it can only be understood in the light of the inadequate provision made for women in earlier generations.
Medieval society was dominated by males. The few women who exercised enormous influence, among them Countess Matilda the staunch ally of Gregory VII, Agnes of Blois the protector of Ivo of Chartres, and Blanche of Castile the regent of France for her son Louis IX, are exceptions in a world where political authority was in the hands of men. Women were still more completely excluded from authority in the church, and there were not even many opportunities to become a nun, because the number of convents for women was small and places were normally reserved for noble families. The modern balance of sexes in religious orders, with far more nuns than monks, is the reverse of the medieval situation. Many writers saw women primarily as a source of temptation, and this conviction was fortified by the dominant physiological theory that women were by nature more lecherous than men -- an interesting example of the shaping of science by the dominant group.
In a number of ways the twelfth century had seen a more positive attitude to the social position of women. It characteristically identified interest groups or 'estates' and provided for their needs: the growth of cities, courts, and schools enabled such groups to advance their claims and the process of Christianization shaped an ethic for them. What applied to knights and merchants also affected the position of women. The recognition of marriage as an honourable estate, and legal provisions which protected the weaker partner, did something to assist their status. A different route to the same destination was offered by the conventions of courtly love, fin'amors or, in German, Minne. Many versions of this were anathema in the eyes of moralists, but there is no one code of courtly love. It could, as in Chrétien of Troyes's Knight of the Cart or Lancelot, glorify adultery, but it also offered a vocabulary of respect which was
19 Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora, RS 1877, iv. 278. In modern convention the term 'Beguine' has come to be used entirely for women, with 'Beghard' reserved for men. Thirteenth-century writers included both beguini and beguine in the word.
widely used in aristocratic society. A few writers came to speak positively of women's social role: in the thirteenth century, Archbishop Federigo Visconti of Pisa criticized those who interpreted the sin of Eve as excluding women from grace, and was careful to speak of 'Christian men and women', christiani and christiane. 20
Attention has often been drawn to the enormous growth in reverence for the Virgin Mary and its potential for the dignity of women. The development in the cult of the Virgin and its expansion to wider social strata during the twelfth century is unquestionable. The use of the Hail Mary spread rapidly and by 1210 a synod at Paris was requiring its knowledge by all believers along with the Creed and the Lord's Prayer. 21 The antiphon Salve regina passed quickly into liturgical use. Legends of Our Lady were collected to disseminate knowledge of the miracles she had performed, and her shrines rose in the league table of popular pilgrimage, among them Rocamadour in central France, where the body of her servant Amadour was discovered in 1166 and gave rise to many miracles. Love for the Virgin was expressed in feudal style: 'the spouse of our Lord is our mistress, the spouse of our king is our queen; therefore let us serve her'. 22 The supreme new artistic expression of this theme was her coronation in heaven. Its first surviving occurence may be on a capital of Reading Abbey, but this is of uncertain date; and it was magnificently depicted just after 1140 in a mosaic on the west front of Santa Maria Trastevere at Rome. It is natural to suppose that the elevation of Mary would bring with it the elevation of women, but the matter is more complicated than that.
One difficulty was the failure to produce a coherent account of Mary's role. While doctrines of Christology and the eucharist were in process of formulation Mariology remained in chaos. Conservatives sought to stay within the guide-lines of the past. Bernard of Clairvaux reprimanded the canons of Lyon for observing the increasingly popular feast of the immaculate conception, and his theological works were almost completely Christ-centred in their thinking. Peter Lombard and most of the schoolmen declined to accept the immaculate conception; the Victorines were reserved in
20 A. Murray, "Archbishop and Mendicants in Thirteenth-century Pisa" in K. Elm (ed.), Stellung und Wirksamkeit der Bettelorden ( Berlin, 1981), 35-7.
21 For details of the spread of the Hail Mary, see H. Graef Mary: a History of Doctrine and Devotion, i ( London, 1963), 229-31.
22 Aelred of Rievaulx, Sermo xxi (PL 195.324 A).
their references to Mary, and some scholars refused to commit themselves to belief in the bodily assumption. On the other hand there was little attempt to control popular ideas and some writers (among them St Bernard and Peter of Celle) were cautious in their more serious works but expressed themselves floridly elsewhere. Popular devotion followed divergent paths. The Lives of Mary and the Passion plays taught the faithful to associate themselves with Mary in her sufferings. This tradition, which later obtained its finest expression in the Stabat mater, was associated with the desire to be close to the historical Jesus. The other road led towards the replacement of Christ by Mary. She was often decribed as the universal ruler, and already in the twelfth century we find the contrast between Christ as judge and Mary as the merciful intercessor. The rhetoric could take startling forms. Peter of Celle once speculated whether Mary might be seen as a Quaternity with the other persons of the Godhead, and shortly before the middle of the thirteenth century St Richard of Laurent's De laudibus Sanctae Mariae repeatedly applied to Mary Biblical statements about the work of Christ. 23 It was an incoherent scene, and it was quite rare for writers to argue from the greatness of Mary to the dignity of women in general. For the liberation of religious women we must look elsewhere.
Traditional nunneries had been few in number (there were perhaps nine in England in 1066) and were monopolized by the aristocracy, for whom also the houses of secular canonesses were mainly designed. New religious foundations were steadily added, such as Messines in Flanders, established by Count Baldwin V and his wife Adela in 1060 for the daughters or widows of the nobility. The ladies of the upper classes were also liable to capture houses founded for other purposes, as they did at Fontevraud shortly after 1100. Most of these institutions did not satisfy the more exacting standards of a new age. They paid no attention to apostolic poverty, and some of them were so relaxed as to draw criticism from authority; the nuns of Messines and Denain, for example, attempted to become secular canonesses at a time when the whole thrust of ecclesiastical policy was to establish communities upon a more regular basis. One option for women who had no access to existing nunneries was to become a recluse. There seem to have been far more women than men living in
23 Peter of Celle, Sermo xiii (PL 202.675): 'et si ullo modo Trinitas illa quaternitatem externam admitteret, tu sola quaternitatem compleres'.
partial withdrawal from the world, and they ranged from those following a strict regime of poverty through widows acting as caretakers of churches to people who in effect had secured a leisurely retirement, like Ermengarde of Harzé, countess of Montaigu, who in 1067 attached herself to the canons of St Feuillen, made frequent pilgrimages and retained a comfortable income. Recluses were common in Lotharingia, the later home of the Beguines, and we know of a number of outstanding ones in England. Women like Christina of Markyate, while they were retired from society, attracted visitors and developed a considerable practice as advisers in spiritual and other affairs. They also had links with traditional monasticism. Christina, who had joined the hermit Roger around 1118, developed close relations with Abbot Geoffrey of St Albans (too close, censorious tongues observed), made a form of profession as a nun there in 1131, and by the end of her life was in charge of a priory. 24
The first sustained attempt at a ministry to women can be found among preachers such Robert of Arbrissel, Odo of Tournai, and Norbert of Xanten, who attracted crowds of women followers. These men, Robert in particular, have been greeted as champions of women, but there were severe difficulties in the way of any real equality of treatment. It was hard to secure adequate endowments for nunneries and they required a great deal of care to supervise. Contemporaries were impressed by the perpetual danger of immorality. 'To be always with a woman', observed St Bernard, 'and not to have intercourse with her, is more difficult than to raise the dead', and Robert's practice of sleeping between his men and women followers was thought to require heroic sanctity as a 'new and unheard-of martyrdom'. 25 Such considerations explain why interesting experiments such as double monasteries tended to be abandoned by the authorities who had initiated them. In 1141 the Premonstratensian abbots ordered that women should be accommodated in separate houses at some distance from those of the men, and by the end of the century they had 'decided by common consent that we will henceforward receive no more sisters'. 26 In the English order of Sempringham it was alleged that the segregation of men and
24 On the twelfth-century hermits and their relation to recluses, see ch. 10. i above.
25 Bernard, Sermones in Cantica 65.4 (PL 183.1091 B); Geoffrey of Vendôme, letter to Robert (PL 157.183A).
26 See P. F. Lefèvre (ed.), Les Statuts de Prémontré ( Louvain, 1946), p. 114 and n.
women, strict in theory, was lax in practice, and Ælred of Rievaulx told the scandalous story of the nun of Watton who was seduced by a lay brother of the house. The Cistercians made no official provision for nuns, although some women's houses adopted Cistercian customs and Stephen Harding himself founded the nunnery of Tart, which recruited from the same Burgundian noble families as did Cîteaux itself.
An upsurge of women's piety began in the late twelfth century. More women were venerated as saints and the ideal of female sanctity came to be less withdrawn and more involved in the caring ministries. The tendency was not confined to any one region: in central Europe, for example, the ruling families produced women saints, including Elizabeth of Thuringia (died 1231) the daughter of King Andrew II of Hungary and Agnes of Prague, daughter of King Ottokar I of Bohemia and fervent follower of Clare of Assisi. Women were also prominent as witnesses in the canonization processes for mendicant preachers in Italy. This marked change in their overall spiritual position went along with better provision in religious orders. Cistercian abbots began to show active sympathy for the women's movement. Abbot Walter of Villers ( 1214-21) founded nunneries in the Low Countries with the support of the dukes of Brabant. The Cistercian house of Aywières became an important centre for holy women, including the mystic Lutgard. The general chapter continued to sound a note of caution and in 1228 decided to accept responsibility for no more nunneries, but in practice exceptions were frequent and foundations proceeded apace: in Germany, where there had been only 15 in 1200, a further 150 had been created by 1250. James of Vitry commented that 'the order of Cistercian nuns has multiplied like the stars of heaven and grown to a huge size'. Dominican policy was basically similar, in that general chapters showed reluctance to adopt any nunneries apart from two for which Dominic himself had been responsible, San Sisto at Rome and Prouille, but in practice numerous convents were founded in Germany and the Low Countries. In southern Europe the sisters of St Clare (Clarisses or Poor Clares) spread widely. After initial hesitations they adopted strict seclusion, but they did not follow any one rule and in most cases were not dissimilar to the nunneries of the older orders. In spite of Clare's fierce determination to maintain the principles of St Francis and to live in total poverty, Gregory IX and Innocent IV insisted on a Rule for the order which was quite relaxed, and which was Benedictine in character rather than Franciscan. Only Clare's own house, San Damiano, and one or two others followed the strict regime of the so-called 'privilege of poverty'.
Closely related to the nunneries was the movement which we know as the Beguines. Its founder and place of origin are alike uncertain. An early tradition traced it to Lambert le Bègue, a priest of Liège who was an active reformer in the 1170s, but his involvement is not clearly established. The most prominent figure in the early stages was Mary of Oignies, who about 1191 retired from the world to live near a small leper-house. About 1207 she moved to the Augustinian priory of St Nicholas at Oignies, where she was the centre of a group of like-minded women. Her reputation reached Paris, and attracted James of Vitry to come to the Low Countries. James was an outstanding preacher who formed wide connections and eventually became bishop of Acre ( 1216-27) and a cardinal. When he went to Italy in 1216 he may well have been hoping to secure a rule, but have been defeated by the Lateran Council decree against the foundation of new orders. He had to be content with formal permission for religious women to live in common and assist each other by mutual exhortation. The movement spread rapidly: we hear of them at Cologne in 1223, and about the same time in northern France. By the 1230s they were being called Beguines, a name whose meaning is uncertain. James of Vitry's travels in southern Europe awoke his awareness to the international dimensions of what was happening: everywhere there were pious confraternities arising, inspired by apostolic ideals but outside the strict bonds of monasticism. In the north as well as the south the impetus was primarily urban and recruiting was mainly among women of the propertied classes.
The permission to live in community granted in 1216 accelerated the formation of houses of Beguines. In some areas there was a tendency towards very large Beguinages which contained substantial communities and formed exempt parishes. It was some time before anything like the present Beguinage at Bruges came into existence, but the first steps can be seen in several cities before 1250. Eventually the movement came to provide a decent and useful life for ladies, but in the earliest days the spirit of apostolic poverty was strong. It was only in the later thirteenth century that institutions which had once provided an exacting challenge became places of leisured retreat, and even then they never lost a genuinely spiritual character. The spirituality of the Beguines was drawn from many sources. Women prominent in the movement sometimes began as recluses, like Ivetta of Huy, or had associations with the Cistercians ( Lutgard of Aywières), Premonstratensians ( Ivetta), Augustinians ( Mary of Oignies), or Dominicans ( Margaret of Ypres). There was probably an influence from the German mystical writers: Hildegard of Bingen had had close associations with the abbey of Villers in the 1170s. The description by James of Vitry stresses both their love of poverty, extending even to a desire to live as mendicants, and their intense orthodoxy. Mary was a keen supporter of the Albigensian Crusade and the whole movement had a strong devotion to the eucharist which culminated in a campaign by Juliana of Cornillon for a new feast in honour of the sacrament. In 1246 Bishop Robert of Thouroute at Liège resolved to institute this, and his archdeacon James Pantaleon subsequently became pope as Urban IV and in 1264 authorized the feast of Corpus Christi for general observance in the church.
The Beguine mystics represented a change of course in the current of medieval piety. Their devotion was a vernacular one, nourished by the visionary tradition of the recluses and by a straightforward reading of the Gospels. Even learned women such as Hadewijch of Antwerp attached importance to vivid personal experiences, which could be valued more than works of charity, as when Lutgard asked for her gift of healing to be taken away because it deprived her of solitude. This was a different approach to spiritual life from the monastic writers of the past who were shaped by liturgy and learned exegesis. The Bernardine devotion to the crucified humanity of Christ lay behind many of the new ideas. But when they meditated on the crucifix, as Ælred of Rievaulx had recommended, what had originally been a symbol became a visionary experience. The Lord showed them his wounds, placed his arm round them, kissed them mouth to mouth, and marked the worshippers with his own wounds. In these tendencies the Beguines were part of a larger movement, with an important overlap with the Franciscans. The stigmata appeared in saints in both Italy and the Low Countries. Some writers saw the coming of interior religion as the inauguration of a new age. The sense that God had brought into being a new work was strong among Franciscans and Beguines and by the end of our period it was being linked with the teaching of Joachim of Fiore about a coming age of the Holy Spirit. Hadewijch was full of anticipation: At the new year We hope for the new season That will bring new flowers And new joys manifold. 27
The Beguines had powerful champions. They were supported by James of Vitry, protected by Gregory IX in his bull Gloriam virginalem, and praised at Oxford by Robert Grosseteste and at Paris by Robert of Sorbon. They also caused anxiety by their lack of a rule and by their teaching. James of Vitry was aware of the need to defend their orthodoxy, and a Beguine was apparently executed for heresy in northern France in the 1230s. The French satirist Walter of Coincy, a Benedictine with a traditional outlook, dismissed them as hypocrites, while in Germany about 1250 the Franciscan Lamprecht of Regensburg regretted their lack of moderation. Like the Franciscans themselves they had strained the limits of the acceptable, so that both movements were perceived in the later thirteenth century as containing elements outside the bounds of orthodoxy.
The Repression of Heresy
The movements which we have been discussing were born into a world of heresy and were conscious of the problems which it presented for the church. The origin of the Dominicans was the Albigensian mission; the followers of Francis would have been familiar with heresy in the Italian cities, although their polemic against it was not as open; and Mary of Oignies was devoted to the cause of orthodoxy. Even by 1230 only very limited progress had been made in the campaign against Cathars and Waldensians. The scene of most of the action had been the south of France, but the attempt of the Fourth Lateran Council to impose a settlement by depriving the family of Saint-Gilles of its estates west of the Rhône was met by strong resistance. Many loyal catholics were opposed to the imposition of northern rule. Their voice is heard in the second part of the Chanson de la Croisade, composed anonymously about 1228. The author represented Innocent III as complaining that Simon of Montfort 'has ruined the catholics as well as the heretics', and agreed sarcastically that Simon should be venerated as a saint,
If killing men and shedding blood,
27 C. Hart (ed.), Hadewijch: the Complete Works ( London, 1981), 144.
And causing loss of souls and massacres Is in this world to conquer Jesus Christ. 28
The decree of the council led to a widespread reaction in the course of which Simon was killed in the fighting on 25 June 1218. Although his son Amaury succeeded him, his death was a severe blow to the northern cause, and by 1224 Raymond VII had retaken almost all his family's lands and most of the southern aristocracy had returned to power.
Raymond VII was interested in recovering his lands and protecting his supporters, and had little sympathy for Catharism. Pope Honorius III, however, made no distinction between political and religious resistance and gave uncritical support to the Montfortian cause. He complained in 1218 that 'the people of Israel are oppressed by Pharaoh'; in October 1221 he officially deprived Raymond VI of all his dominions, and on his death in the summer of 1222 he denied him Christian burial. This policy was in part simply a stubborn defence of the Lateran settlement, but it was also the result of disquiet at the revival of heresy. As the traditional nobility recovered its lands the perfects also reappeared, often in the very places where they had been influential before, and in 1225 an assembly of about 100 'good men' agreed to create a new Cathar bishopric at Razès. The new French King Louis VIII ( 1223-6) was by then ready to undertake a full-scale crusade in the south. Amaury had surrendered to him the Montfortian lands, and Louis required stringent terms from the papal legate to make clear that the crusade was a royal enterprise. A large expedition assembled at Lyon in June 1226. After being held up for three months at Avignon it rapidly recovered most of the former Montfort lands. Louis's death on 8 November 1226 left Raymond VII in possession of Toulouse and enabled him to strengthen his position once more. He was, however, convinced of the need for a settlement, which was finally ratified at the Peace of Paris on 12 April 1229. The wide territories of Béziers and Carcassonne were recognized as royal possessions and Raymond agreed to marry his daughter Jeanne to a member of the Capetian family with the prospect of succession after his death.
Up to that point only a limited amount had been achieved by the papal programme against heresy. The support of the lay power had been doubtful precisely in the regions where the danger was greatest.
28 See Y. Dossat, "La croisade vue par les chroniqueurs", CF 4 ( 1969), esp. 252-7.
In Languedoc the traditional nobility had temporarily reasserted its power. In Italy Frederick II had issued laws against heresy, but his quarrel with the papacy after 1226 reduced their effect, and the powerful cities were reluctant to adopt anti-heretical provisions into their statutes. The machinery of inquiry into heresy was still inadequate. By 1230, however, there were possibilities of new initiatives. The Peace of Paris, agreement between pope and emperor, and the expansion of the friars established the preconditions for the official persecution of heresy. Its most obvious feature was the appearance of the papal inquisition, but the significance of this must not be overstated. It was not an organization: the word inquisitio did not mean 'the Inquisition', but an inquiry by an investigator with papal authority. Nor did the system of inquiry have an unbroken history thereafter. It met with a great deal of opposition and by 1250 papal commissions of inquiry had largely been abandoned throughout Europe. It was only one of the weapons against heresy, although an effective one which had been newly forged.
The inquisition was created by a policy decision by Gregory IX. In February 1231 he issued a general condemnation of heresy in the bull Excommunicamus, which was based on Ad abolendam of 1184 but with an up-dating of the penalties. Those convicted of heresy were to be transferred to secular judgement 'to be punished by the appropriate penalty', animadversione debita puniendi. 29 In the Liber Augustalis of 1231Frederick II had provided that heretics 'should be burned alive in the sight of the people', and that may have been the punishment which Gregory had in mind. The issue of Excommunicamus was soon followed by the appointment of inquisitors, often Dominican friars, in many parts of Europe. Hannibal, senator of Rome, issued statutes against heretics discovered there 'by inquisitors appointed by the church'. 30 The first surviving inquisitorial commission was issued to Conrad of Marburg in Germany on 11 October 1231, soon followed by instructions to two Dominicans of Regensburg to preach and to seek out heretics 'according to our statutes against heresy recently promulgated'. 31 In southern France the work of papal inquisitors
29 L. Auvray (ed.), Les registres de Grégoire IX ( Paris, 1896), no. 539, p. 351. See J. M. Powell (tr.), Liber Augustalis ( Syracuse, 1971), 9.
30 Auvray, Les registres de Grégoire IX, no. 540, p. 353.
31 A. Patschovsky, "Zur Ketzerverfolgung Konrads von Marburg", DAEM 37 ( 1981) 64193, for discussion and references. (It is now generally accepted that an earlier commission to Conrad in 1227 was an instruction to bring heretics before episcopal tribunals and thus different from the 1231 commission.) See also E. Peters, Heresy and Authority in Medieval Europe ( London, 1980), no. 38.
was instituted by bulls in April 1233, and on 19 April 1233 Robert the Little, or le Bougre, a converted Cathar who had become a Dominican, was instructed to undertake the extirpation of heresy from La Charité sur Loire and the surrounding regions. 32 In Lombardy we soon hear of inquisitors, but the main contribution of the friars was to secure the inclusion of anti-heretical measures in communal statutes. The simultaneous introduction of the new procedure into so many countries confirms that it was the result of a decision taken within the papal curia.
Historians have found it difficult to arrive at agreement about the character of the inquisition in its first twenty years. Our main information comes from descriptions of the work of inquisitors among the Albigensians, supplemented by a few surviving registers of cases and by accounts of the bloodthirsty careers of Robert le Bougre in northern France and Conrad of Marburg in the Rhineland. There has been a reaction against the sweeping liberal condemnation of the inquisition, and it has been stressed that it was an orderly institution which was penitential in character, was inclined to be more merciful than lay powers, and only rarely surrendered the accused to the death penalty. Almost certainly the great majority of sentences was for the lighter penances, the wearing of a cross on the garments or the undertaking of a pilgrimage. These could lead to opprobrium or inconvenience, but at least they were much more frequently imposed than indefinite imprisonment and surrender to the secular arm for burning. The scattered records from the Midi in the 1240s suggest that over go per cent of those sentenced received the less stringent penances. 33 It is also true that the vocabulary of the time is liable to mislead a modern reader. The term persecutio did not mean persecution in the modern sense, but any sort of programme against heresy including peaceful preaching, and in the language of the inquisition the word 'heretic' was the technical expression for a Cathar perfect. It was against this relatively small group that the full rigour of the procedure was turned, whereas their hearers or credentes, as well as Waldensian preachers, could expect more merciful treatment. This no doubt accounts for the the low incidence of extreme penalties. It has also been suggested (although here the argument takes a more tendentious turn) that the most savage
32 Auvray, Les registres de Grégoire IX, no. 1253, p. 707.
33 See the survey of the evidence by Y. Dossat in CF 6 ( 1971), 253-72 and 361-78. The nature of the surviving records means that we have no real knowledge of the number of burnings ordered by inquisitors before 1250 in the normal course of their operations.
campaigns do not represent the church's official policy. In the Rhineland Conrad of Marburg provoked wide anger and opposition, resulting in his murder in 1233, and in northern France Robert le Bougre's violent activities culminated in the burning of 180 Cathars at Mont-Aimé in May 1239; but both men have been seen as untypically savage, even perhaps insane. Conrad was not replaced, and Robert was disgraced and imprisoned. On this argument, the regular operation of the inquisition must be contrasted with these occasional outbreaks of savagery, and not blamed for them.
This may be fair comment on the intentions of many of the Dominicans who served on the tribunals, but it misses the point. The inquisition marked the effective introduction on an international scale of procedures of inquiry which dispensed with the existing ideas of legality. Roman law and canon law were traditionally tender towards the rights of the defendant: he was called to answer only an express accusation by a named accuser, and witnesses against him must be of good standing. This legal protection had been eroded by anti-heretical measures from Ad abolendam onwards and it was now stripped away entirely. The accused was not told the names of witnesses, who might themselves be involved in heresy or otherwise of ill repute. He could call no witnesses on his own behalf, and in practice had no way of rebutting the charge. The archbishop of Mainz complained that Conrad's tribunal uncritically accepted the statements of witnesses, so that 'the accused was given the option either to confess and live or to swear his innocence and be burned on the spot', and this appears no more than an exaggerated application of standard inquisitorial procedure. 34 Contemporaries were also shocked because the same procedures were directed against the upper classes, whose privileges were ignored. What was happening in practice was that a normal system of justice was being replaced by inquiries designed to identify the names of the perfects or hard-core heretics. When a group of perfects was located, the severity of the inquisitors increased at once: they were certainly involved in questioning the prisoners at Montségur in 1244 and the massacre which followed may well have had their approval. On less special occasions the arrival of the inquisitors would be marked by a public sermon, which was accompanied by an offer of easy reconciliation to those who would confess and who would supply information. The use of informers, the negation of the legal rights of defendants, and,
34 Chronicle of Alberic of Troisfontaines, s.a. 1233, MGH SS XXIII.931.
after Innocent IV's decree Ad extirpanda in 1252, the use of torture give the whole procedure an unpleasantly twentieth-century ring. The fact that the tribunals were manned not by lawyers, but primarily by friars whose training was in preaching and the confessional, does not necessarily imply amiability; it may just as easily indicate a willingness to override the rules of law. The procedure provoked opposition from people who had no brief for heresy. The first complaints were directed against Conrad of Marburg's 'monstrous and unheard-of judgement' in 1231-3, but there is no reason to think that his approach was much different from that of other inquisitors elsewhere. In the Midi the Dominicans were expelled from Toulouse for a time in 1235 by the consuls of the city, and civil disorders were provoked in Narbonne by the activities of Friar Ferrier. Raymond VII several times complained about Dominican activities and urged the pope to restore to the bishops their jurisdiction over heresy. In the face of such opposition the early history of the inquisition was a chequered one. There was no really active papal inquisition in northern France or Germany after Robert and Conrad, and in the Midi the functions of the inquisitors were first suspended by Gregory IX, then interfered with by Innocent IV, and finally subordinated for a period to the bishops. In the midthirteenth century it was not clear that the inquisition would prove to be more than a temporary expedient in the campaign against heresy.
By that time the effectiveness of the Cathar movement had been much reduced. In northern France we hear little of it thereafter, and we know that there were 150 French perfects living in exile near Verona. In the Rhineland, too, the Cathars who had once been well established there seem to have disappeared after the fierce onslaught by Conrad of Marburg. 35 In the Midi the power of the heresy had been much more formidable, but there too it had been gravely weakened. The southern aristocracy, on whose support it had depended, had finally been undermined after an ineffective rebellion in 1242. Raymond VII had increasingly been obliged to follow the lead of the dominant Capetian power and in 1249 his death put his estates in the hands of Alphonse of Poitiers, the younger brother of King Louis IX. The perfects, who were of crucial importance to the
35 It has often been supposed that the Rhineland Cathars had already disappeared and that Conrad's persecution was directed against a different sect, whether real or imaginary, called Luciferians. Patschowsky has, however, demonstrated that this group is identical with the Cathars.
continuance of the sect, were greatly reduced in number. They had been obliged after the Peace of Paris to take refuge in a small number of fortresses, of which the most important was Montségur. In 1241 the garrison of the castle was rash enough to carry out a raid and murder an inquisitor at Avignonet. After a delay this gave rise to a determined siege and the fall of the castle in March 1244. The massacre of over 200 heretics probably removed a substantial part of their remaining strength. Only in Italy was Catharism largely intact and in a position to provide refuge for those fleeing across the Alps. The continuing conflicts between Frederick II and the papacy and the spirited independence of the communes worked against co-operation in pursuit of heresy, and it was only in the 1240s that inquisitors such as Peter of Verona and Rainier Sacconi became really active. There were districts in many of the major cities which had well established networks of Patarini, as the movement was generally known there.
The collapse of Catharism north of the Alps must in part have been due to the preaching of the friars. They offered the witness of holy men, as did the perfects, along with orthodoxy. There was a more clearly defined doctrine, and an attempt at better popular preaching; the Franciscans taught a warm devotion to creation through the Christ-child and the cross and thus powerfully countered the Cathars' rejection of the created order. The university of Toulouse was founded in 1229 and provided local training for the clergy. It is natural to suppose that these new forces sapped away the strength of the Cathars, but it is not easy to demonstrate it in detail, and there is a serious counter-argument: in northern Italy, where the friars were strongest, the Cathars held their position best. It is easier to see the effects of persecution. Groups of exiles from northern France and Languedoc provide clear evidence of the force of repression in their native lands. The fortunes of the Albigensian heretics were closely associated with those of the local nobility, so that they shared their failures, successes, and final collapse. The disappearance of the movement in Germany seems closely associated with the career of Conrad of Marburg. The contribution of preaching and witness may well have been very significant, but the forces which can most readily be seen at work are those of repression, of crusade and inquisition, which by 1250 were well on the way to overcoming Catharism everywhere north of the Alps.
The attacks on Catharism, and to a lesser extent on the Waldensians, were the most important steps in the growth of religious repression in the thirteenth century. There was also a significant deterioration in the position of the Jews. True, the tradition of papal protection, provided that they remained in an inferior position within Christian society, still continued. Gregory IX stated the important principle, 'the same kindness should be shown by Christian to Jews, that we wish to be shown to Christians resident in pagan lands'. 36 Innocent IV in his Lacrimabilem Judaeorum of July 1247 strongly defended the Jews from the charge of ritual murder, which was still being levelled against them. Nevertheless hostility to the Jews was not solely a popular phenomenon. The Fourth Lateran Council had codified legislation against them, including the provision that they were to wear distinctive dress. It must be remembered that this was a society which expected rank and station to be distinguished by appropriate clothing: it was not the equivalent of the Nazi imposition of the star of David as a badge of Judaism. But later popes interested themselves in its enforcement, and it marked a further stage in the marginalization of the Jewish community. This was increased by an attack upon the Jewish law code, the Talmud. It had already been criticized in the twelfth century by Peter Alfonsi and Peter the Venerable, but now repressive action was taken against it. A Jewish convert, Nicholas Donin, complained to Gregory IX about its contents, and on 9 June 1239 the pope issued an instruction to confiscate all Jewish books the following March and hand them to the friars for examination. Any containing doctrinal error were to be burned. The consequence was the burning of twenty-four wagon-loads of manuscripts at Paris in 1242. At the same time, the custom began in France and in Aragon of obliging rabbis to hold disputations with the friars under the chairmanship of a member of the royal family, and of forcing Jewish communities to listen to sermons. The attack on the intellectual liberty of Jews was reaching a new level, and was to have great significance for the future.
36 Auvray, Les registres de Grégoire IX, no. 1216, p. 692 ( 6 Apr. 1233).
PROCLAIMING THE FAITH
i. Crusade and Mission
The first half of the thirteenth century was the golden age of crusading. After the loss of Jerusalem to Saladin in 1187 a major expedition set out to the eastern Mediterranean in every decade. Crusades were used as a solution to every sort of problem, and were directed against the pagans of the Baltic, the Greeks, the Spanish Moslems, Cathars and the political enemies of the papacy. It is not an accident that the widest extension of crusading coincided with the greatest effectiveness of the papal monarchy, for the crusade put at the disposal of the Roman Church privileges which it could employ to promote military action against its enemies. The process of defining the rights of crusaders, which had begun in the twelfth century, was taken much further. The decree of Fourth Lateran, Ad liberandam, was the fullest statement so far of a crusading plan, and the clarification was completed in the works of the great canonist Hostiensis. The crusader bound himself by a vow, which was enforced by canonical sanctions unless it was commuted for a money payment or some other undertaking. He wore the cross as his badge and received an indulgence, the forgiveness of all sins and release from the penance which would otherwise have been due. His lands and rights were protected by the church, and the expedition might be financed by papally authorized funding. Strangely, this formidable machinery for the promotion of holy wars did not have a name. The term 'crusade' barely existed, although such expressions as the French croiserie or the Latin crucesignati are sometimes found. More commonly the members of the expedition continued to describe themselves by the undifferentiated term 'pilgrims'. Historians have been anxious to give a precise definition to the word 'crusade', but it is important to remember that this was not a thirteenth-century problem. As far as the Roman curia was concerned, it had at its disposal a body of privileges which could be granted, in whole or part, to those who would support the expeditions which they sponsored.
It is probably true that Jerusalem was the goal of every crusade to the eastern Mediterranean, but thirteenth-century crusaders seemed keen to fight for it anywhere except in Palestine. The balance of power had changed since the first Frankish conquest had been facilitated by the fragmentation of Moslem Syria and the political decay of Egypt. The Ayubid empire established by Saladin and his brother al-Adil (1200-18) presented a formidable opposition to any attempt to take Jerusalem by direct assault. Nor did the surviving Latin possessions offer a natural base for operations in southern Palestine. The second kingdom of Jerusalem, as it had been left at the end of the Third Crusade, was very different from its predecessor. It consisted of a string of coastal cities and castles, and owed its continued existence to the military orders and to an aristocracy which drew most of its resources from the newly acquired island of Cyprus. The city of Ascalon and the fortresses of Transjordan, essential to any secure Christian occupation of Jerusalem, had been lost. The west had to recognize that, as Villehardouin put it, 'in Syria you can do nothing . . . The land of Outremer will be recovered, if recovered it is, by the land of Babylon [ Egypt] or by Greece.' 1 This argument had already justified the deflection of the Fourth Crusade to Constantinople; the next major effort was to be made against Egypt.
The crusade proclaimed at the Fourth Lateran Council had lost its originator with the death of Innocent III, but military operations began as planned in 1217. When the expedition reached the east it was decided to direct it against Egypt, and a landing was made near the port of Damietta at the end of May 1218. For most of the next three years overall control was in the hands of the papal legate, Cardinal Pelagius of Albano. The Fifth Crusade was more completely under ecclesiastical leadership than any other in the Mediterranean, and it was weakened by divisions between the legate and the lay commanders, especially John of Brienne, the titular king of Jerusalem. Damietta fell after a long siege on 5 November 1219, but the Christian army was kept inactive throughout 1220. An offer to cede Jerusalem in return for withdrawal was rejected because the Templars and Hospitallers argued that it could not be defended, and also because Pelagius was confident that Egypt could be conquered.
1 G. de Villehardouin, La Conquête de Constantinople, ed. E. Faral ( Paris, 1938), i. 96.
His conviction was increased by the appearance of prophecies which announced the coming victory of the crusaders and promised them the help of a great Christian king in the east. In 1221 Pelagius advanced with disastrous consequences: the whole expedition was cut off in the Nile delta and obliged to negotiate terms of surrender. On 8 September the Sultan al-Kamil re-entered Damietta and the crusade was at an end.
Pelagius had accepted that, since Jerusalem could not be held securely without Egypt, the crusaders must invade that country. Frederick II drew the opposite conclusion and settled for an insecure tenure of the city. In 1225 he had married Isabella, the daughter of John of Brienne, and assumed the title of king of Jerusalem. He had also inherited the Hohenstaufen interest in prophecies of the last emperor, who was to wear the crown at Jerusalem and govern the earth in peace, and the manifesto which was read at his coronation claimed that he had been raised up as the deliverer of the Christian people. On the Moslem side, the Ayubid empire was beset by succession problems, and al-Kamil was more interested in compromise than warfare. Finally, Frederick found himself in the anomalous position of an excommunicate crusader, conducting an expedition under the disapproval of the pope. He had taken the cross in 1215 but the long Damietta campaign had come and gone without his personal participation. Eventually he promised to leave in August 1227 on pain of excommunication. In that month he assembled a large army at Brindisi, but returned to port almost at once on a plea of sickness. The illness may well have been genuine, but the new pope Gregory IX would listen to no more excuses and excommunicated the emperor. Frederick nevertheless sailed in June 1228 without receiving absolution. All the circumstances favoured a rapid agreement rather than a long campaign, and the treaty of Jaffa was signed on 18 February 1229. The Christians received Jerusalem, Lydda, and Bethlehem, protected by a ten-year truce. The Moslems retained the Temple area, which contained the Dome of the Rock and the Aqsa mosque. To the modern reader this may seem a sensible solution to a vexatious quarrel, but the treaty was fiercely criticized, in particular because it offered no security of tenure. This was certainly true: there was no protective ring of castles, and the city itself was not refortified. This unusual crusade ended with the crown-wearing by the excommunicate Frederick in the church of the Holy Sepulchre, followed by his rapid return to the west.
The truce lasted its full ten years, and at its end expeditions by Theobald of Navarre and Richard of Cornwall ( 1239-41) secured further territorial concessions from the deeply divided Moslems. The kingdom of Jerusalem on the map was now looking quite like its pre-1187 self, but the reality was different, for it was still without the southern fortresses which had once defended it. Its precarious character was shown in 1244, when war broke out between the Ayubid rulers of Egypt and Syria. As-Salih, the sultan of Egypt, and his allies swept into Jerusalem and on 17 October 1244 the SyrianChristian alliance was wholly defeated near Gaza. Jerusalem was not to return to Christian rule until Allenby's armies entered it in 1917. It is reasonable to suppose that the news of the loss of the city influenced the decision of Louis IX of France to undertake a crusade, although there is no clear proof of it. Louis's was perhaps the best planned of all the crusades. The French army has been estimated at 15,000 men, and the total expenditure of about 1.5 million livres of Tours was enormous, amounting to more than ten times the annual royal revenue. The strategy rested on the rejection of the appeasement policy of the previous twenty years. Louis's goal was the conquest of Egypt; his charter for the archbishopric of Damietta showed every sign of envisaging permanent occupation. The expedition began brilliantly. After wintering in Cyprus the ships arrived at Damietta on 5 June 1249, and within twenty-four hours the city, which had resisted Pelagius for so long, was in French hands. The advance was not resumed until early the following year and was then held up at Mansurah, where a costly attempt to break through the Egyptian positions failed on 8 February 1250. This time the campaign proved even more disastrous than that of Pelagius, for Louis allowed himself to be cut off from Damietta and on 6 April he had to capitulate with his entire army. It was agreed that the captives would be released in return for the surrender of Damietta and a very large ransom. Louis spent some years in Palestine, occupied both in negotiating the release of prisoners and in strengthening the fortifications of the surviving castles and cities. They were thus enabled to resist for another generation, but no expedition on a similar scale was to be mounted to come to their relief.
Holy war against the unbelievers had never been confined to Syria. The First Crusade had been preceded by campaigns against the Saracens in Spain, and these remained part of papal strategy. Spain was one of the great crusading successes, for with the victory of Las Navas de Tolosa in 1212 Christian supremacy was secured, and by 1250 almost all the peninsula had been incorporated into the Christian kingdoms. In the Baltic the missionary effort had already been reinforced by crusades, and the thirteenth century saw their extension into Livonia and Prussia. In Livonia the period of conquest effectively began with the appointment of Albert of Buxtehude as bishop in 1198. He was a canon of Hamburg-Bremen, the centre of the northern mission, and founded the city of Riga in 1201 and located the cathedral there. By 1212 the Livs in the Dvina valley had accepted his lordship, and after a series of ruthless campaigns had subjugated southern Estonia the country was partitioned in 1222 between Bishop Albert and the Danes who had occupied the northern coast. The conquest of Prussia began later. There the Cistercian Bishop Christian ( 1215-45) had initially been successful in securing conversions, and the intervention of the military orders was perhaps a political conquest of peoples who were already in the process of adopting Christianity. 2 Christian himself turned to the use of force, but his leadership was superseded by that of the Teutonic Knights, who in 1230-1 began to establish a chain of strongpoints along the river Vistula, and thence along the coast to Elbing ( 1237) and Königsberg ( 1254). The conquest of the Baltic provinces was by no means a story of unbroken success. Lithuania was increasingly organized as a centre of pagan resistance after annihilating an invasion at Siauliai in 1236, and was to remain pagan for centuries. The encounter of the invading Germans with the Russian princes also re-enacted the rivalry of Latin and Greek Christianity in the far north, and culminated in a major war in 1240-2 and in the famous victory of Alexander Nevsky over the western knights on the ice of Lake Peipus. Nevertheless by 1250 the later frontiers of Livonia ( Latvia) and Prussia had been approximately drawn, and they had been incorporated into Latin Christendom.
The sources oblige us to see the conquest of Livonia and Prussia largely through the eyes of the military orders. As they present it, it was a particularly pure example of holy war. The principle that baptism was a matter for free choice was almost abandoned, so that the chronicler Henry of Livonia, although himself a mission priest, simply assumed the rightness of spreading the faith by force. The new provinces were in ecclesiastical hands. Bishop Albert was
2 For this view see K. Gorski, "Probleme der Christianisierung in Preussen, Livland und Litauen", in K. Nowak, Die Rolle der Ritterorden ( Torun, 1983), 9-34.
recognized as a prince of the empire in 1207, and at Fourth Lateran he secured the exemption of the bishopric of Riga from HamburgBremen. It became an archbishopric in 1253. In Prussia the Teutonic Knights secured a similar position of dominance. The Golden Bull of Rimini in 1226 granted their master, Hermann of Salza, the status of prince of the empire for his prospective conquests, and in 1234 the territory of the Knights was recognized as a papal fief. A series of legates, especially Bishop William of Modena between 1225 and 1242, supervised the setting up of a diocesan organization. The legates also attempted, with very limited success, to preserve the rights of converts against oppression. As Gregory IX wrote in 1239, 'men signed with the mark of Christ must not be worse off than they were as limbs of the devil'. 3 The spearhead of the conquest was provided by the knights. Bishop Albert founded the Livonian Sword-Brothers (or the Brothers of the Militia of Christ) in 1202. In Prussia Bishop Christian founded the Knights of Dobrzyn in 1228 but the effective conquest was the work of the Teutonic Knights, who founded an order at Acre during the Third Crusade in imitation of the Templars and Hospitallers. The defence of the Holy Land was always its top priority, but it early showed an interest in the frontiers of Europe. When he undertook the conquest of Prussia the grand master Hermann of Salza used his influence with Frederick II to ensure that he had a free hand. In Livonia the Sword-Brothers were intended as an arm of episcopal power, but after the death of Bishop Albert in 1229 they became uncontrollable and their indiscipline led to their absorption into the Teutonic Knights in 1237. Much of the fighting was done by crusaders, largely German, who came in a series of frequent expeditions. In 1245 Innocent IV granted indulgences to all who went to Prussia, even without a specific papal appeal. The Baltic crusades offered the opportunity to obtain an indulgence without undertaking the tedious journey to the eastern Mediterranean, and provided a better prospect of acquiring territory than Palestine. The main pattern of landholding of the later Prussian nobility was founded in these crusades. The operation was controlled by Germans, and was a formative chapter in the Drang nach Osten. Its success was based on the superiority of western technology: on the stone castle, the heavy cavalry, and the crossbow; on the cog, the large merchant ship which maintained commercial and naval links between Lübeck and Riga; and on the successful creation of German
3 Cited E. Christiansen, The Northern Crusades ( London, 1980), 125.
cities and villages. The original population, although sometimes atrociously treated, survived, but the price of survival was the acceptance of German settlement and culture and a Latin religious establishment.
While the popes were sponsoring expeditions to recover Jerusalem, they were also directing crusades against a variety of enemies, including Greeks, heretics, and political opponents in Italy. The crusade against Christians has often been seen as a new phenomenon which, by alienating public opinion, led to the discrediting of the movement as a whole. This view must be formulated with some care, because there was nothing new about the use of warfare against the enemies of the church within western Europe. The campaign of Leo IX against the Normans and the use of 'knights of St Peter' by Gregory VII had been precedents for the First Crusade, so that it might almost be said that the war against Islam was a by-product of the holy war at home. One can find a few examples in the twelfth century: the offer of indulgence made by Urban II in 1095 was repeated at the council of Pisa in 1135, this time to those who would fight against Anacletus II, and again at Third Lateran in 1179 for participation in operations against the Albigensian heretics. These measures, however, led to virtually no consequences, and in reality there had been few crusades against Christians. There had been no use of crusading privileges against the Greeks, or in practice against heresy, and although Alexander III had employed political measures against his imperialist enemies he had held back from any offer of indulgences. The political crusades of the thirteenth century came as a novelty to contemporaries.
From Innocent III onwards the use of crusades within Christendom became ever more significant in papal policy, until by the middle of the century the reaction of the Roman Church to almost any threat was to direct a crusade against it. Innocent sponsored the first and largest of the crusades against heretics. He was at least the de facto founder of crusades against the Greeks, and the Fourth Crusade led to attempts to buttress the crumbling position of the Latin emperor at Constantinople. Gregory IX was convinced that the defence of the Latin empire was a crucial stage in the recovery of the Holy Land, and supported a clumsy project for a joint expedition against the Greeks by Bela IV of Hungary and the Emperor Baldwin II. The most striking development was, however, the use of crusading privileges against the Hohenstaufen, who were primarily political enemies of the Roman Church. The first clear example was Innocent's action against Markward of Anweiler in Sicily, which had little practical effect. It is often suggested that in 1228 Gregory IX avoided turning his conflict with Frederick II into a crusade, but he issued an indulgence to his supporters and made an international appeal for money and men. In any event, he promulgated a full-scale crusade against Frederick in 1239, and his example was followed by Innocent IV and later popes.
While the crusading movement was increasingly diversified another approach to the unbeliever was developing: peaceful preaching. The first half of the century saw the beginning of major attempts to proclaim the Gospel outside Europe and to formulate a theory of mission. The fact that this missionary activity was in the long run unsuccessful should not lead us to neglect it, because the ideas which shaped it eventually influenced the expansion of the church initiated by Atlantic exploration in the fifteenth century. Gregory IX's decretal of 1235 Cum hora undecima 'contained the basic statement of the church's missionary function', and in the amplified form issued by Innocent IV it was repeatedly copied in later centuries. 4 Innocent IV was also responsible for the first developed statement of the relationship between the church and the nonChristian world in his commentary on the Quod super his of Innocent III. The idea of conversion was of course not new in the thirteenth century, and had appeared in crusading propaganda; but it was now transformed under the impact of major changes in the way western Europeans understood the world. The most obvious reason for the new missionary initiative was a technical one. With the growth of the military orders, and much more with the emergence of the friars, there were groups of men available to go where they were needed. Missions outside Europe were undertaken largely by Franciscans and Dominicans, and they were well placed to keep the mission field before the eyes of the Roman curia. More fundamental in creating a change of view was the radical thinking about poverty and simplicity. This helped to stimulate the so-called Childrens' Crusade of 1212, which probably consisted not of children but of shepherds, household servants, and the poor. It seems to have been a spontaneous movement among those who believed that God would restore Jerusalem to humble men when he had withheld it from the mighty; and it succeeded in going no further than Genoa. A far more
4 J. Muldoon, Popes, Lawyers and Infidels ( Liverpool, 1979), 36.
effective expression of the ideal of poverty was to be found in the friars. Both Francis and Dominic saw their mission as extending beyond the boundaries of Christendom: 'I say to you in truth that the Lord chose and sent the friars for the profit of the souls of all men in the whole world, and they are to be received not only in the lands of the faithful but also of the infidel.' 5 Francis himself paid his famous visit to Sultan al-Kamil to preach to him at the time of the Fifth Crusade in 1219. The message was incorporated into a new vision of the end of the world, which took seriously the prophecy that 'this gospel of the kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, as a testimony to all nations; and then the end will come' (Matt. 24: 14). Given the information which was becoming available about the extent of the missionary task the crusades no longer seemed relevant to it. Joachim of Fiore seems to have regarded them as of little significance, and the Commentary on Jeremiah (a work in Joachim's tradition and written under his name) was fiercely critical of the use of force. It was unusual in seeing crusades and missions as contradictory; some people, like Gregory IX and Innocent IV, were keen advocates of both.
The friars did not expect immediate success; on the contrary, many went in the hope of martyrdom. Nevertheless, the changing situation in Africa and Asia held out a prospect that the gospel could be preached to unbelievers. The victory of the Spanish Christians in 1212 opened the way to preaching to the Moors of Spain and created the possibility of a Moroccan mission. The first Franciscans were martyred there in 1220. They were followed by others, and the Dominicans also made Spain and north Africa a target for missionary activity. Innocent IV corresponded with Moslem rulers to protect the friars' freedom to preach and threatened diplomatic or commercial reprisals if they were persecuted. The amount of liberty remained very restricted, but the mission in Spain was secure, and the Moroccan mission was at least a possible area of growth.
More striking was the change in western ideas about Asia. The assumption that Christianity and Islam occupied most of the surface of the planet was disturbed by the discovery that in Asia, behind the Islamic barrier, there was a network of Nestorian churches and great populations to whom the faith could be brought. Western interest in further Asia had already been shown in the twelfth century by the
5 Francis of Assisi to Cardinal Hugolino, as reported in Scripta Leonis Rufini et Angeli sociorum, ed. R. B. Brooke ( Oxford, 1970), 233.
popularity of legends of Alexander. The first recorded visit by an Asian bishop to Rome took place in 1122, but the details are extremely imprecise. Then in 1145 news of Prester John arrived for the first time, brought by the bishop of Gabala in northern Syria. The report was almost certainly based on the defeat of the Seljuk Sultan Sanjar in 1141, which rumour ascribed to a great Christian monarch. The real impact of Asiatic affairs upon Christendom began, however, with the rise of the Mongol empire. The Mongol tribes had been united by the military genius of Temüjin, whom they recognized in 1206 as Genghis Khan (Universal Ruler). In 1219 a Mongol army overran Persia and ravaged its cities. Until then, Christendom had been aware of two worlds, Islam and itself; now for the first time the Third World was beginning to write the agenda. The Mongols were devoted to world conquest, but they were also potential allies against Islam and a rich field for missionary enterprise. The first information to arrive was thoroughly confusing. The warfare inspired the story that a Christian King David, a relative of Prester John, had come from India and overrun the Persian kingdom. It was this report which misled Pelagius at Damietta, and subsequently Honorius III. The possible implications of the Mongol empire only became apparent when about 1235 the great khan Ogödei sent a huge army westwards under his general Batu. It took Kiev in December 1240 and defeated western armies in Hungary and Silesia in April 1241. The whole of eastern Europe was overrun by the Mongols, but in the spring of 1242 their armies withdrew eastward, leaving Poland and Hungary. The occasion was the death of Ogödei and the prospect of a succession dispute, in which Batu was interested, at the capital Karakorum. Europe was left to speculate on the likelihood that they would return.
It was Innocent IV who undertook the collection of information from the east. One of the major purposes of the assembly of the council of Lyon in 1245 was 'to' find a remedy against the Tartars and other despisers of the Christian faith'. 6 Innocent received accounts from survivors of the Hungarian catastrophe and promised papal aid in the event of a renewal of the Tartar offensive. He also sent friars to establish contact with the Mongol rulers. The most remarkable of these missions was that of the Franciscan John of Pian di Carpine, whose report was the first great narrative of Asiatic travel by a
6 Letter to archbishop of Sens 3 Jan. 1245: H. Wolter and H. Holstein, Lyon I et Lyon II ( Paris, 1966), 250-1.
westerner. Leaving Lyon in April 1245, he arrived in Mongolia in July 1246, in time to be present at the assembly which elected the new khan. He had carried two letters from the pope, one an exposition of the Christian faith and the other a protest against the invasion of Christian kingdoms. The great khan's reaction was disquieting. He sent a hostile reply in which he demanded papal recognition of his supremacy and claimed that the kings who resisted him were opposing God's will. Friar John warned the pope that 'it is the intention of the Tartars to bring the whole world into subjection if they can'. 7 Other envoys received similar responses, but there were a few meetings with Nestorian officials which gave some grounds for a slender hope. The ground, at least, had been prepared for the great missionary journeys to central Asia and China which were to follow.
The position of crusading within the western church during the first half of the thirteenth century was paradoxical. Crusades had never before been so prominent in papal policy or Christian consciousness. Historians have supposed that widespread disillusionment with crusading arose because of persistent failure, the increasing weight of taxation required to support expeditions, and resentment against the political misuse of the movement. Certainly, this became a commonplace of satirists' complaints:
Rome, to Saracens -- you turn the other cheek.
All your victims are -- Latin or else Greek.
In the pit of hell, -- Rome, is your true location,
Sitting in damnation.
God knows I want none
of your pilgrims' dispensation
if their stated destination
is at Avignon!
Rome, you understand --- that my words are biting,
Since with tricks against --- Christians you are fighting.
Tell me in what text --- do you find it written,
Christians should be smitten?
God, who are true bread
for us every day,
bring down what I pray
on the Romans' head.8
7 C. Dawson (tr.), The Mongol Mission ( London, 1955), 43.
8 Guilhem Figueira, D'un sirventes far, R. T. Hill and T. G. Bergin (ed.), Anthology of the Provenfal Troubadours (Yale, 1941), no. 122, pp. 178-9.
We must not place this anti-crusading feeling too far back in time, for crusades enjoyed a great deal of sympathy, and only limited criticism, between 1187 and 1229. In this context the defeat of Louis IX may have been decisive. Its impact is described by the English chronicler Matthew Paris:
All of France was filled with grief and confusion, and clergy and knights lamented bitterly and would not be consoled . . . Driven distracted by anguish of mind and great sorrow they accused God of being unjust, in words of blasphemy which sounded like those of apostates or heretics. And the faith of many began to waver. The most noble city of Venice and many cities of Italy, whose population is only half Christian in any case, would have fallen into apostasy had they not been strengthened by the consolation of bishops and holy religious men, who rightly said that the slain are now reigning in heaven as martyrs . . . This quietened some people's indignation, but not everybody's. 9
These words are often seen as the obituary of the great crusades. Popular shock at the pious king's failure, resentment against taxation, the anger of imperialists and troubadours at the launching of crusades against Christians, created an atmosphere in which the great endeavour could not be successfully renewed. 10
ii. The Pastoral Revolution
The thirteenth century saw a sustained effort to instruct and discipline the faithful. As it was enunciated by councils and applied by bishops, this programme was quite specific. It aimed at the use of the confessional as a means of counselling and teaching; at the instruction of the laity in Christian belief and conduct; and at the education of the parish clergy as a step towards these objectives. This is the movement which has in recent years been identified as 'the pastoral revolution', and it incorporated some new assumptions about the mission of the church.
Earlier reformers had not been much interested in ordinary people. The papal reform movement had aimed at the cultic purity of the
10 For another view, see Elizabeth Siberry, Criticism of Crusading 1095-1274 ( Oxford, 1985), where it is argued that the critics were largely self-interested and not necessarily representative of public opinion, and that the shock at the defeat of Louis IX was no greater than that at the failure of the Second Crusade, which was not fatal to the movement. The point is an interesting one; the test is the ability of the west to recover from the setback, which lies outside the scope of this volume.
9 Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora (RS 57) v. 169-70.
church, at freedom from simony, clerical concubinage, and lay control. Monastic and eremitical leaders had sought to create communities living the apostolic life. The later years of the twelfth century saw a reassessment of the place of the laity. Theologians began to show an interest not only in great saints and sinners, but in the fairly good and the fairly bad, the mediocriter boni et mali. A classic sermon of Innocent III set out schematically the range of human vice and virtue and located the sorts and conditions of men within it. 11 The growing awareness of the needs of the mediocre was reflected in the emergence of a much firmer idea of purgatory. It had been accepted for a long time that holy men might experience a fire of purification after their death, and might purge particular sins by a short residence in the upper parts of hell; but from about 1170 the Paris theologians began to speak, not merely of 'purgatorial fire' or 'purgation', but of purgatory as a noun and a place. 'Paradise', we are told, 'receives the spirits of the perfect; hell, the very bad; the fire of purgatory, those who are neither very good nor very bad.' 12
The beginnings of a shift in pastoral perspectives may be observed already in the twelfth century. The concern to provide an ethic for groups in lay society in such areas as chivalry and marriage was a stage on the way to a general ministry to all men. So was the growth of episcopal responsibility for the local clergy. When bishops began to institute the parish priests, to protect their income from the lay patron and to keep records of their admission to livings (although such lists must have been extremely rare before 1200), it was a natural step to become concerned for their discipline and training. These were presages of the new approach, but perhaps the things which crystallized it most clearly were the threat of the Saracens and the heretics. In face of the loss of the Holy Land, repentance was incumbent on all Christians, as Gregory VIII had insisted in Audita tremendi. In face of the rise of heresy, simple laymen were defenceless if they had no understanding of the faith, especially when they encountered those who claimed to be living in accordance with the New Testament. It was these considerations which probably led Innocent III, a Paris graduate who had learned the new theology there, to formulate it as a policy for the western church as a whole in
11 Sermon 27 on the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin (PL 217.578-90).
12 For references see J. Le Goff, The Birth of Purgatory ( London, 1984).
The use of the noun purgatorium seems to go back before 1170 to the Cistercian writers, and it occurs in a sermon of Bernard of Clairvaux whose authenticity there is no reason to doubt; but the development of the concept took place in the Paris theologians.
the decrees of the Lateran Council. The drive to implement it was a co-operation between four of the most powerful forces in the church: the Paris theologians, the ecumenical authority of a great council, the friars, and the diocesan bishops especially in France and England. 13
The discipline of the confessional was formally established in the western church by canon 21 of Fourth Lateran, Omnis utriusque sexus, which has been called with pardonable exaggeration 'perhaps the most important legislative act in the history of the church'. 14 It was intended to enact at the highest level of authority a discipline which was being actively developed in the preceding decades. The old tariff-penance, under which each sin carried a prescribed penalty of fasting, was superseded by a confessional of the modern type, in which a priest would impose a penance and give absolution immediately after confession. The transaction was private, without a public penance or public reconciliation. Penances were at the discretion of the priest or, as it was technically expressed, were 'arbitrary'. Although manuals continued to list tariffs as a guide, the emphasis was that the penance should be appointed in the light of the situation of the penitent. Such a discipline gave a lot of responsibility to the confessor, and parish priests were poorly trained to discharge it. Manuals were therefore produced to assist them. They had at least one precursor about 1160, Homo quidam, an anonymous Norman tract which breathes something of the new spirit, but the production of textbooks really began about the end of the century in close connection with Paris. They included Alan of Lille's Liber Penitentialis (first edition c. 1191); Robert of Flamborough, canon of St Victor ( 1199 onwards); Thomas of Chobham, a former Paris master (c. 1215); and another Victorine, Peter of Poitiers (c. 1215). The Fourth Lateran decree encouraged the writing of many more such works, and the Summae Confessorum, as they came to be known, became an influential branch of literature. Some of them were major theological compositions, such as the Summa de casibus penitentie (c. 1225), a foundation text for the study of moral theology by the Dominican Raymond of Peñafort. At the opposite extreme were
13 For details of developments mentioned in this summary paragraph, see ch. 13 (ethics); Ch. 9. iii (diocesan administration); and ch. 17. iv (Fourth Lateran reforms).
14 H. C. Lea, A History of Auricular Confession ( London, 1896), 230.
The development of the penitential system is complicated by the double change from public to private penance and from tariff to arbitrary penance. The extent of private penance in the twelfth century is difficult to determine. In the text I have been content with the common-sense assumption that the Lateran Council was aiming at an immense increase in its use.
See also ch. 15. iv.
simple texts for the guidance of priests circulated in some English dioceses, and books in the vernacular like the widely circulated Manuel des Péchés of c. 1260. 15 The efforts of local clergy were supplemented by the expertise of the friars, and by 1200 bishops were already appointing penitentiaries to receive confession of those graver sins which had to be referred to episcopal authority.
The establishment of the confessional meant more than the provision of annual visits by reluctant parishioners to their local priest. Counselling had to rest upon teaching about cases and problems, and thus gave a secure place to moral theology in clerical education; it has been suggested that the work of Robert Grosseteste in translating Aristotle's Ethics was the result of his concern as bishop of Lincoln for penitential discipline. Confession was also a parable of ecclesiastical authority enacted at a level where it could be seen by every Christian. The participation of the community had been stripped away; in normal cases there was no public penance or reconciliation. The one-to-one relationship of priest to penitent raised a question about the source of the forgiveness which was bestowed. The predominant twelfth-century view, expressed by Anselm of Canterbury, Peter Abelard, and Peter Lombard, was that the act of confession itself was the basis of forgiveness provided that there was true sorrow for sin. This was superseded by an increasing tendency to stress the authority of the priest, who could draw on the power of the keys and the treasury of merit created by the suffering of Christ and his saints. This in turn influenced the rite, and the first occurence of the authoritarian formula, Ego absolvo te, can be traced to about 1200. Ultimately the confessional was the enlistment of every lay person into the service of God. It was not enough to participate in ceremonies; the laity had to be committed by selfexamination and will. It belongs to the 'piety concerned for immediacy to God' which some writers have seen as a new feature of the thirteenth century. 16 Its effect, however, was not to give liberty, for the key to the exercise was discipline. The laity were expected to accept the rules formulated by the clergy, who now secured dominion even in the internal forum of the conscience. The Summae confessorum functioned as an organ of social control. Social control, however, is a complex matter, and the confessional had unexpected
15 For the texts circulated in English dioceses see F. M. Powicke and C. R. Cheney, C & S II.ii.220-6, 305.
16 W. Pannenberg, Christian Spirituality and Sacramental Community ( London, 1984), 4.
results. It made it difficult to dismiss whole ways of life, for it was necessary to counsel merchants, money-lenders, and others who were exposed to constant temptation. Like purgatory, it was a facility designed for the not-so-good and forced the church to say what was the minimum of acceptable behaviour. The entrepreneurial spirit was legitimized from the confessor's chair.
The new discipline was both an individual one which required all adults to answer for their personal sins, and a recognition of the variety of social ranks into which the population, especially in cities, was now divided. The element which had largely disappeared was the sense of a general Christian community in each place, and its loss can be seen in the disintegration of the old baptismal ceremony, about which significantly the Lateran Council had little to say, for it had largely disappeared from the centre of pastoral attention. In the eleventh century the standard rite was still the old Roman one, which prescribed baptism for two major occasions each year, Easter and Pentecost. The bishop presided and the candidates received baptism by water, the laying on of hands, and first communion. Adult baptism was rare, but infants were baptized according to the same rite and councils stressed that they should receive communion, normally in the form of wine alone. The whole occasion must have been a noisy and vivid expression of the local community, assembled to celebrate a major festival and incorporate its new members. Even by this time there were two elements of disintegration. Infants whose life was in peril (no doubt a significant proportion) received baptism and communion without waiting, and because of the large size of dioceses in most of Europe it was necessary for priests to conduct the Easter ceremony and to reserve the laying on of hands ('confirmation') for the bishop.
The collapse of the originally unitary ceremony proceeded throughout the period from 1050 to 1250. One important solvent was the pressure to baptize infants without waiting. This had become usual for those in poor health, but after 1050 theologians and synods increasingly demanded immediate baptism. There was a conflicting attempt to keep the observance of the old liturgical times, on which the legatine council of London still insisted in 1237, but before the end of the thirteenth century they were being used only for a few newly born infants, or even for no one at all. The dissolution of the ceremony was taken further by the abandonment of the practice of giving communion to children, which probably took place in the course of the thirteenth century and may well have been connected with the refusal of the cup to the laity, since this was how infants received. The decision to restrict communion to adults may have been a deliberate one by the Lateran reformers. Bishop Odo of Sully prohibited child communion at Paris, and Omnis utriusque sexus, with its rule about confession and communion for those of years of discretion, implicitly excluded children. By the end of the period the communal rite of initiation had collapsed. Children were being baptized within a few days of birth and confirmed subsequently when and if the bishop could be found, and did not receive communion until they were old enough to confess. The new situation expressed the new pastoral ideal of ministry to individual souls.
These souls had to be instructed in the faith, and this instruction took two different forms. It is natural to refer to both as preaching, but they had essentially different functions. The basic teaching was now normally defined as the Apostles' Creed, the Lord's Prayer, and the Hail Mary, all to be learned by heart. 17 Bishop Grossesteste of Lincoln about 1239 prescribed a more ambitious programme: priests were to expound regularly the Ten Commandments, the seven deadly sins, and the seven sacraments and were to ensure that the people knew the formula for baptism in English. 18 There was provision for other teaching too, such as the need to care for very young children and the learning of prayers for various times in the day. No clear indication was given when such instruction took place, but it is reasonable to assume it was at the Sunday mass in association with the reading of notices and bidding prayers (the 'prone') which in the thirteenth century -- and possibly earlier -- were in the vernacular. Just after the end of our period the Franciscan Bonaventure pointed out how much basic understanding could be derived from the services when he said that laymen were obliged to believe explicitly in those things which are opened to them, not only in preaching but also in the use and custom of the church. For instance, in the Unity and Trinity: this they can know from making the sign of the cross, because they sign themselves in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Also in the birth, passion and resurrection and in the remission of sins: these they can learn from the ceremonies performed by the church and the actions of the priests. 19
17 Statutes of Salisbury, I (1217/19) c. 5 ( C & S II.i.61).
18 Statutes of Lincoln, c. 1 (i.268).
19 Bonaventure, Liber III Sententiarum, D. 25, art. 1, q. 3 ( Opera Theologica Selecta iii (Quaracchi, 1941), 535).
This elementary instruction was supplemented by explanation of the readings for the day. Canon 10 of the Fourth Lateran Council had called on bishops to provide themselves with assistants for preaching, and there seems already to have been a new wave of preaching around Paris about 1200. Bishop Maurice of Sully provided homilies for parish clergy, in Latin and French; a parish priest, Fulk of Neuilly, preached repentance and the Fourth Crusade; Stephen Langton and Robert of Courson are said to have carried out brilliant preaching tours; and of James of Vitry it was later reported that 'his words moved France, as never in the history of man a preacher had moved it'. The advent of the friars rapidly increased the manpower available for popular preaching, and the thirteenth century abounds in large collections of sermons by friars and seculars alike. In France for example there were those of William of Auvergne, bishop of Paris 1228-49, and of two outstanding Dominicans from the house of Lyon, Stephen of Bourbon and Humbert of Romans. In Italy there were Antony of Padua and Federigo Visconti, archbishop of Pisa, with innumerable other collections by Preachers and Minorites.
The sermon collection was in much more demand than handbooks on how to preach, but nevertheless the author might provide an introduction about methods. The only previous instance of this in our period had been the introduction provided by Abbot Guibert of Nogent in 1084 to his commentary on Genesis, but now they appeared in a steady supply. Alan of Lille's Summa de Arte Predicandi contained instructions about the preparation of sermons with seventy-four sketches of homilies. These included addresses of a relatively new type designed for different social groups, the sermones ad status. James of Vitry likewise published a large collection of sermons with reflections on the art of preaching, and Honorius III provided encouragement by donating manuscripts of his own sermons and urging the recipients to make them available to others. Handbooks on preaching methods were followed by other works of reference. William of Auvergne produced a treatise De faciebus mundi ( Aspects of the World ) which listed at dismaying length ways in which natural objects could be presented as symbols of divine truth. Biblical commentaries were designed for the reference of preachers: ArchbishopFederigo Visconti of Pisa prepared his sermons with the Postilla in totam Bibliam of Hugh of St Cher by his elbow. Other authors collected exempla, stories from history, the life of the saints, nature, and experience. They were part of the new style of simpler, more approachable preaching, their punch-lines sometimes recorded in the vernacular as a pun or snappy phrase. Their use in preaching to laymen was strongly recommended, and their collection culminated in Stephen of Bourbon's immense work which contains almost 2,900 exempla and was still incomplete at his death in 1261. The popular sermon also had an impact on the design of churches. The first stone pulpits, which were in Dominican churches, were probably built after 1250, but the tendency to treat the nave as a separate lay church, with a great screen isolating it from the choir, was in part related to the growth of sermons for the laity. There is no certainty about the availability of regular homilies in local churches, but the quality of popular preaching had improved through the use of friars and other trained personnel, and one of the aims of the reform was to educate the parochial clergy as confessors and instructors. The methods used must be considered later: our next task is to assess the impact of the pastoral revolution upon the state of popular religion.
iii. Popular Religion
To present an anatomy of popular religion in a short space is an impossible task. For one thing, we do not have the information. The illiterate have left no account of their faith, and the literate acquired not only skill in writing but with it a culture which made them untypical of most of society. We do not even have many accounts of the faith of the people seen from outside by the clergy. There is some information about it in the sermons and inquisitorial records of the thirteenth century; the most obvious example, a detailed inquiry at the village of Montaillou in the Pyrenees with a great deal of verbatim material from witnesses, has been made famous by E. Le Roy Ladurie, but falls considerably after the end of our period. 20 Confessors were undoubtedly concerned with the legends and customs of the countryside, but did not often record them. The best sources (and even they are not very informative) are the Corrector of Burchard of Worms before our period and the Liber de officio Cherubyn of Friar Rudolf after its end.
The concept 'popular religion' has also been used by some writers in a strangely free way. There was not one lay culture but many: the expression of a great noble's religion was very different from that of a citizen or a peasant, while peasant cultures were locally rooted and varied very much across the face of Europe. Worse than that, the
20 E. le Roy Ladurie, Montaillou ( London, 1978).
concept suggests that there was a distinctive type of religion characteristic of the laity, and this is broadly untrue. The populus does not appear as an autonomous cultural group, but as the recipients, eager or reluctant, of ideas handed down by their social and spiritual superiors. Deference remained strong: only one nonnoble layman was canonized in the thirteenth century, Homobonus of Cremona by Innocent III, and the saints who received most popular support in the Italian cities tended to be not ordinary fellow citizens, but members of the mendicant orders. In the religion of the people we see the ritual and teaching of the church in reflecting or distorting mirrors, which moreover were touched at different times by different rays of light. Remote villages would escape the network of ecclesiastical supervision, like the peasants who only knew it was a feast-day because there was an old man who made a hobby of the calendar and always dressed up for the occasion: 'Master Gosselin has his red shoes on.' 21 At the opposite extreme were city-dwellers whose contacts with regular canons or friars would enable them to keep up with recent developments and hear a series of good sermons. There were laity moved by the apostolic poverty movement and the words of Christ to become Cistercian lay brothers, friars, Beguines, or Waldensians; while others learned deference and discipline from the pulpit and the confessional. Sections of the urban population seem to have been sceptical of established religion in general. In rural society it was more usual for religious practice to be shaped by cults of holy places, stories of the saints, and legends woven round the Biblical narrative. A recent school of French historians would prefer to speak not of popular religion, but of culture folklorique, which is a better description at least of part of the spectrum. They have shown that the common assumption that we are dealing with only two elements, a pre-Christian culture which was being reshaped by a coherent Christianity imposed by the church, is far too simple. True, there are features preserved from ancient Germanic religion -- the days of the week are still named after pagan deities -- but much of the culture folklorique was supplied by the ceremonies of the church and was being introduced precisely in the period we are now studying. A book by J.-C. Schmitt illustrates the variety of influences which could play upon a local community. Stephen of Bourbon was dismayed to find, only thirty miles from the large city of Lyon, that country people were bringing their children for healing to the well of
21 A. Lecoy de la Marche, La chaire française au moyen âge ( Paris, 1886), 424.
St Guinefort, who on inquiry turned out to be a greyhound who had saved his master's child from a serpent and then been slain himself. This remarkable story, apart from the starring role given to one of the few pet animals admitted to the order of the saints, seems to display four influences: reverence for holy wells, the Germanic practice of exposing sick children, the cult of the saints, and the story, originally from classical literature, of the faithful hound. It is mystifying how the villagers had come across this last piece of learning (could it have been a preacher's exemplum which went wrong?) but the episode shows how a deeply rooted custom could be reinterpreted by new influences. 22
By 1250 most people in western Europe had a parish church easily available. True, in mountainous or thinly populated regions the church might still be a long way away, and in Poland it was still quite common to have ten or twenty villages associated with a motherchurch. In most of the west, this phase had been left a long way in the past. Estimates in both France and England indicate that there were between 100 and 300 adult laity in an average parish. In England and Wales the Taxation of Pope Nicholas after the end of our period listed 8,085 churches, and it is certainly not complete. It had become normal for the church to form the centre of the village, the natural place to meet for gossip and a strongpoint for the deposit of valuables. The bell provided the measure of time for the villagers. Every child had to be taken there for baptism, and within a year, an English synod optimistically prescribed, should be taken to the bishop for confirmation. 23 The Lateran Council assumed that everybody had an 'own priest', proprius sacerdos, to whom he might go for confession. The reality of the baptismal link is illustrated by the spread of Christian names derived from the Bible or the saints in place of traditional German or Slavonic ones. The process has only been studied in detail in a few places, but it was a marked feature of these centuries, and interestingly it sometimes took place more rapidly in lower-class society: the aristocracy was more wedded to its old family names. Christian symbolism insinuated itself into the details of everyday life. It was common to make the sign of the cross and to possess a small personal cross, even at a time when the image of Christ on the great crucifix remained a distant and royal one.
22 J. -C. Schmitt, The Holy Greyhound ( Cambridge, 1983). For methods of transmission of such ideas, see the interesting article by A. Boureau, "Narration cléricale et narration populaire", in. j.-C. Schmitt (ed.), Les saints et les stars ( Paris, 1983), 41-64.
23 Statutes of Canterbury, I (1213/4) c. 37 ( C & S II.i.32 and n.).
Amber crosses have been found alongside hammers belonging to the storm-god in deposits at Gdansk in Poland which date back to the period of the conversion in the eleventh century. The symbols and names of the Christian religion permeated everyday life. But what sort of religion had emerged from it?
Its first feature was ignorance. Most people knew little about the Christian faith. It was the ambition of most legislators in the thirteenth-century church that the people should know the Lord's Prayer, the Creed and the Hail Mary, and that this was close to the maximum attainment is indicated by the almost invariable recommendation that they should be used as prayers at various times in the day. We hear also of cases where they had been learned in Latin by people who could not understand them, and of a Dominican novice at Bologna who 'had never fasted except on Good Friday, had hardly ever abstained from meat except on Fridays, had never been to confession and knew nothing of the prayers which are said in church except the Lord's Prayer'. 24 Even the friars, with their concern for the poor, accepted ignorance as a fact of life and were relatively untroubled by it. Humbert of Romans cited the text, 'the oxen were ploughing and the asses were feeding beside them' (Job 1: 14) with the crushing gloss, 'the asses, that is the simple, ought to be content with the teaching of their betters'. Even Gregory the Great had been less authoritarian in his comment. 25
The learning of the basic formulae was treated, in fact, as one of the duties which the ordinary believer owed to God, for the peasant was bound in a network of services which dominated his religious and secular duties. The two were closely connected: 'You should believe and understand that you owe to your earthly lord dues and tallages, fines, services, carriage, transport and escort. Render them all in full at the proper time and place.' 26 Dues to God and the church were similarly defined in formal terms, with an emphasis not on spiritual enlightenment but on the avoidance of sin. There was no shyness about insisting on the payment of tithes. On the contrary, to withhold them was presented as a particularly terrible offence: the miracles of Rocamadour, written about 1172, told of a man who was possessed by a demon because he despised the clergy and failed to pay tithe. Instructions about the confessional have a plodding air
24 S. Tugwell, Early Dominicans: Selected Writings ( London, 1982), 126.
25 See A. Murray, Traditio 30 ( 1974), 298 n.
26 Homilies of Maurice of Sully, cited M. Zink, Prédication en langue romane ( Paris, 1976), 180.
about them. Bernard of Clairvaux told of a lay brother who spent the night in vigil and lamented the next morning that 'I was thinking in the vigil about a monk in whom I counted thirty virtues and cannot find even one of them in myself'. Bernard recommended this dreary exercise as a 'sublime meditation'. 27 It was a religion of dues and services which enmeshed the simple believer as the tenurial system did.
The disciplinarian approach was motivated by the fear that even basic duties were in danger of being left unperformed. Parts of the population seem to have been almost wholly neglectful of religion. Humbert of Romans lamented that 'the poor rarely come to church or to sermons, and therefore know little of what pertains to their salvation'. 28 The comment is far from unique, and the possibility exists that, while great churches and shrines would be crowded on important occasions, the local churches were not, and some people scarcely ever came. The inclusion of foolery in the ceremonial of major festivals was a concession to attract people to them. Reformers disliked such ceremonies as the procession of the ass, customary in northern France at the Epiphany, in which the donkey was greeted by cries of 'hee-haw', or such chaotic institutions as the lord of misrule or the boy bishop. Thomas of Chobham remarked unhappily that they were tolerated because 'otherwise many men would not come to such feasts if they could not play games'. 29 We have virtually no statistical information about church attendance, and it is unsafe to assume that it was high. There was no machinery for compelling the indifferent to attend, and the requirement of one confession and one communion a year speaks volumes for what might be expected. Thirteenth-century observers thought there were many unbelievers, particularly in Italy, of which the comment is made most often. Matthew Paris said that the Italians were only half Christian, and preachers spoke of the 'chill of unbelief' which they found there. 30 The doubt most frequently expressed was over the presence of Christ in the eucharist: the relative frequency of proofmiracles and visions at the consecration confirms the existence of these doubts, and in addition the doctrine of the Eucharistic presence was under attack from heretical groups. There was also scepticism, recorded by Antony of Padua and others, about the future
27 Bernard, Sermones per annum, Opera v. 214-6.
28 Cited A. Murray, Traditio 30 ( 1974) 301. See also his article in SCH 8 ( 1972), 93-4.
29 F. Broomfield (ed.), Thomae de Chobham Summa Confessorum (Louvain, 1968), 268.
30 Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora (RS 57) v. 169.
resurrection of the dead. More often, popular unbelief was practical rather than doctrinal, and people simply took no notice of the church's teaching in their ordinary lives. Preachers commented on the prevailing sexual immorality, and the survival of an older sexual ethic was an obstacle to the new rules. Although the church had significantly reshaped the law and ceremonies of marriage, it was conventional in many peasant groups to postpone the church ceremony until pregnancy or even after childbirth, and many entered into clandestine marriages without a priest or even witnesses. The growing cities brought their own temptations with them. Fulk of Neuilly, following the example of Robert of Arbrissel and Peter the Hermit, collected funds for the dowries of prostitutes and founded the Cistercian convent of St Antoine on the outskirts of Paris as a refuge for them. Peter the Chanter's rigorist position on homosexuality initiated the repressive attitude which, in the thirteenth century, succeeded the more relaxed approach which had previously prevailed towards the gay scene at Paris. Preachers passionately criticized usury, even if confessors were also engaged in a more delicate definition of what it was.
It would be a simplification to say that the church was threatened by worldliness in the cities and superstition in the country, but there is truth in the statement. The countryman's year necessarily followed the cycle of nature, and the ceremonies which marked its turningpoints retained such connections with the ancient past as the leading of the plough round the fire on Plough Monday and the May Day games. Most important phases of human life (childbirth, sickness, love) were protected by rituals and charms, and their complexity is illustrated by the German confessional treatise De Officio Cherubyn. They included the invocation of ancient powers, the Waldfrau or woman of the wood, Holda queen of heaven, and the stetewalden or spirits of the house. The countryman lived in a world filled with contending spirits and mysterious forces, including the spirits of the dead. In remote districts the custom continued in the Carolingian period and even later of depositing grave-goods for the dead and digging pits for their spirits. Official church-teaching launched a vigorous attack upon 'superstition', as this whole world of practices was termed. Maurice of Sully warned his hearers, in line with orthodox thinking about magic, that to employ spells was to invoke the powers of darkness and was contrary to the creed. Bishops investigated pilgrimages to holy wells or groves and canonization came under papal control, although in practice locally revered saints continued to emerge. More positively, the liturgy offered access to better magic than that of the old charms. The power of God was dispensed by his priests as they blessed weapons, ornaments, implements for the ordeal, and holy water. A Christian presence was asserted in the farming year through the blessing of the fields at Rogationtide and of the plough. By the eleventh century the charms used by Anglo-Saxon healers were far more Christian than pagan in terminology. The power of the saints, concentrated in their shrines, was opened to crowds of pilgrims, and provision was made for the dead through the creation of parish cemeteries and through requiem masses and purgatory. We have spoken already of the conversion of Europe, but almost equally important was the exorcism of Europe: the expulsion of evil spirits, the grant of repose to the restless dead, and the presence of an army of saints to fight for the faithful. The process is difficult to trace, but the indications are that by 1250 a Christian cosmology had made a deep impression on the cycle of the year and the ancient world of spirits.
This success was bought at a price, for it was partly due to the marvels and legends which were embodied in the Christian system. It is impossible to distinguish clearly between Christian and pagan magic. The peasants of Montaillou held beliefs about charms and spirits which cannot be labelled as belonging to any one world-view. Aleksander Gieysztor has emphasized that much of the magic in late medieval Poland had been imported from the west with the Gospel, which offered at first exorcism and later healing at such shrines as that of St Stanislas. Biblical stories became entangled in a web of fantasy. The tendency is still apparent in modern versions of the Christmas story, but in the Middle Ages every Biblical event and personage carried a baggage of myth. Learned culture in earlier centuries had been conservative in its resistance to the marvellous and the bizarre, but in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries it was much more ready to accept them. Often these strange stories came from outside Christendom: from the east (where the Alexander legend was set, with its many wonders) or 'the matter of Britain', Celtic stories which formed the basis of the Arthurian romances. There are also signs of the adoption of popular stories into the lives of saints, such as the taming of la Tarasque, the dragon of Tarascon, by St Martha. One supposes that the dragon in such a story is a survivor of pre-Christian myth, but that may not be so in all cases, for the association of legends of dragons with cities in the late Middle Ages hints that they were being invented or at least transformed during the period of rapid urban growth. Compositions such as the vernacular life of Mary Magdalen, written in the late twelfth century and designed for recitation to the crowds, occupied a strange no man's land between history and legend. B. Cazelles has pointed out that there is an extraordinary gap between saints officially promoted by the church and those whose lives were most popular in thirteenthcentury France. The latter group was remote from the contemporary world, and most of them did not exist historically: Jean Bouche d'Or had no connection with St John Chrysostom but the name. They took the hearers to a world of fable, where the extraordinary could come to the resue without the restraints of everyday reality. 31
The reduction of the saints to legend jeopardized the attempt which was being made, in all sorts of ways, to bring the believer into the thought-world of the New Testament. It was abundantly illustrated on the walls of churches, but unfortunately there is very little evidence whether these paintings were understood by ordinary worshippers. Sites with New Testament links ranked among the most popular pilgrimage centres: Rome, Compostella, Vézelay, and above all the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem. By these means was conveyed to lay groups a spirituality which went beyond the picture of dues and burdens, of marvels and miracles, which has been drawn so far. Laymen formed confraternities which, even if the prayers they learned were very simple ones, absorbed something of the spirituality of their directors: Franciscan tertiaries, for example, were unpopular with the Italian communes because of their commitment to peace and opposition to bearing arms. Preachers spoke of following Christ in poverty and humility, and in their sermons this appeal sat uneasily beside the demand for dues and services: 'if we desire to come to the glory of God, we must follow his way in humility, obedience and suffering.' 32 The early Waldensians and Franciscans reveal the existence of a lay piety based on the reading of the Gospels. True, the capture of the Friars Minor by an educated leadership after the fall of Elias led to a hierarchical stress upon the duties of belief and conduct, but Francis's own spirit also survived in simple teaching through the Christmas crib, hymns, or lauds and the naturalistic painting styles developed by Giotto. There was a
31 B. Cazelles, Le corps de sainteté ( Geneva, 1982).
32 Raoul Ardent, PL 155.1847D.
growing sense of Christ as a loving Lord, to whom a believer owed his loyalty. The word fideles meant both 'believers' and 'sworn men', and it was easy to amalgamate the two. The change was reflected in the adoption of a new position of prayer, kneeling with hands together, which is that of a man doing homage to his lord. Papal portraits adopted the attitude in the thirteenth century, but official iconography was probably conservative and the new style was apparently spreading before 1200. The ordinary Christian might therefore in his imagination occupy one of three different worlds: that of dues and services; of sorcery and marvels; and of the Gospel history, simply understood. Many, one suspects, occupied all three at once.
REASON AND HOPE IN A CHANGING WORLD.
In the preceding chapters a good deal has been said about the pastoral commitments of the church. Through preaching and the confessional, through the example of friars and the repression of heretics, the faith and morals of the laity were to be purified. This was not pastoral care in the modern spirit, for the preachers were strong on discipline and weak on lay leadership, but it represented a pattern of ministry which cannot be paralleled in earlier centuries and which had influential champions. It affected intellectuals and administrators, but they also had other concerns, and the next two chapters will examine the forces which shaped scholarship and governmental structures.
i. A New Pattern of Learning: the Universities
A universitas is a guild, a type of organization widely developed in medieval society. The recognition of the privileges of a 'university' of masters, which freed it from control by local ecclesiastical or civic authorities, created a new type of higher education in Christendom. That is not to say that it was an abrupt break. The three most outstanding universities in the thirteenth century all had a previous history as centres of study before they acquired their new privileges shortly after 1200, and the other city schools continued to function effectively. In spite of the number of masters teaching at Paris in 1170, the evidence that there was already an organized guild there is tenuous; but by the time of Innocent III the masters formed a body with its own regulations, and in 1215 the issue of statutes by Robert of Courson, papal legate and former master in theology, marked the definitive emergence of the university. In April 1231 the bull Parens scientiarum, which has been called the Magna Carta of the new university, adjudicated the continuing disputes with the bishop's chancellor. By the middle of the century the main outlines of the constitution were clear, with a rector, proctors, faculties, and a subdivision into nations. The formalization of the structure corresponded with a much clearer definition of subjects and syllabuses. Twelfth-century scholars had moved fairly freely from one type of study to another: it is easy to find writers (such as John of Salisbury, Gilbert Foliot and Peter of Blois) who were men of letters, and at the same time had a good grasp of philosophy, canon law, and theology. By the thirteenth century a clearer dividing-line had emerged between the disciplines. The aspiring scholar would first read a degree in the basic faculty of arts, and then proceed to the higher faculties of law, medicine, or theology. While arts always preserved an atmosphere of omnium gatherum about it, specialists in law had to proceed to a further qualification, and at Paris we begin to find a relatively new phenomenon, the arts man who has little interest in the interpretation of Scripture. The changing structures gave rise, as we shall see, to a revival of speculative philosophy at Paris after a period when study had been directed to practical and pastoral matters. Another formative feature at Paris was the suppression of civil law by Honorius III in 1219. The purpose of this measure is uncertain, but it may have been a response to pressure by Philip II of France, who wanted to protect French customary law from erosion by the civil code. In any event, its effect was to inhibit the growth of the law faculty. Paris had four faculties, of which arts (which provided the foundation course) was much the biggest, and theology enjoyed the highest reputation as an international centre of excellence. The importance of Bologna had already been marked by the privilege Habita, granted to foreign students in Lombardy by Frederick Barbarossa in 1158, but the first indication of a university in the formal sense was contemporaneous with similar developments at Paris. In 1215 we hear that the Rhetorica antiqua of Buoncompagno was read 'before the university of professors of canon and civil law'. The structure of Bologna was quite different from that of Paris. The presence there of law students who were already relatively senior men with families led to a high degree of student control and to a lay spirit alien to Paris, although the importance to the university of papal privileges guaranteed a substantial degree of ecclesiastical control. While Oxford did not have the same international importance as Paris and Bologna, it made a distinctive contribution to learning, and its origins were rather similar to theirs. Its growing importance was marked by a charter from the papal legate in 1214, defining the clerical status of members of the university and mentioning for the first time its new head, the chancellor. This office seems to have been filled by the eminent scholar Robert Grosseteste.
The establishment of university constitutions at Paris, Bologna, and Oxford was quickly followed by other foundations. Some were already important schools in the twelfth century (Orléans, Montpellier); some arose from secessions from existing universities ( Padua, Cambridge); while others were created by a specific decision ( Naples in 1224 by Frederick II; Toulouse in 1229 as a centre of orthodoxy amid the Albigensians; the studium curiae about 1244 for clergy of the papal curia). These foundations did not achieve the international standing of Paris and Bologna, which attracted students of many nationalities: the list of Paris theologians in the thirteenth century contains more foreigners than Frenchmen.
Seen in the context of ecclesiastical policy, the emergence of the universities presents a paradox. They attracted the patronage of the papacy and other members of the hierarchy because of their potential for training a new generation of leaders of the clergy. By their very constitution, however, the universities separated the most talented teachers from the normal responsibilities of church government and placed them in independent corporations. Christian tradition had vested the office of teaching in the bishop, and it is no accident that in the past so many of the greatest theologians had come from the ranks of the episcopate. A second source of doctrine had been the monasteries, for the heart of monastic prayer was the reading of Scripture, lectio divina, which formed the basis for the exposition of the Bible. In the thirteenth century the schoolman replaced the bishop and the abbot as the typical exponent of doctrine. The syllabus in theology and law was mainly controlled by the masters, and the arts course came to be shaped not so much by the needs of pastoral training as by technical considerations, including the needs of the higher faculties. That is not to say that universities were isolated from the government of the church. The magistri hoped for, and often obtained, influential promotion and popes could intervene in the shaping of the syllabus. What had happened was that the masters had emerged alongside the bishops and the abbots as formative influences in the life of the church. As a source of doctrine, they had indeed superseded them.
The thirteenth century saw the triumph of scholasticism. In spite of the ridicule which was directed against it at the Renaissance, the work of the greatest schoolmen, and most of all of Thomas Aquinas, has continued to influence the thought of the church up to the present time. It would be idle to look for a precise definition of the term 'scholastic'. Basically it refers to the distinctive methods of study in the schools or universities. The development of the 'question' method of discussion generated a great deal of literature in the form of Sentences and Summae, systematic expositions of theological issues which had effectively no parallels in the earlier history of doctrine. 1 In all fields of study it was accepted that the text was authoritative, and its close examination was not directed to discussing whether it was true, but to clarifying its meaning in the light of other authorities which seemed to contradict it. These methods were in use before 1200, and in that sense we can speak of Paris scholasticism as already existing then. Normally, however, to use the word 'scholastic' we ask for something more: an extremely refined use of logic, developed in the arts course, and a strongly philosophical base. The schoolmen did not subject their texts to verification in the modern manner, but they did scrutinize them with rigorous analysis and assess their place within a total philosophy. These methods were being shaped in the first half of the twelfth century, but (as we shall see in the next section) interest in a philosophical foundation actually waned in Paris in the following period. The full development of scholasticism was to take place in the thirteenth century.
One of the marked changes in the educational system was the reduced importance of grammar and rhetoric, and the consequent diminution in that wide reading of the classics which had been undertaken as part of those subjects and had provided the basis for the Renaissance of the twelfth century. Grammar now became a means of acquiring enough Latin for further study, and was taught mainly at a pre-university level by means of textbooks newly composed for the purpose, such as the Doctrinale of Alexander of Villedieu ( 1199). The reason for this change lay in the increasingly technical character of further studies. Ambitious students wanted to move as quickly as possible to the profitable study of law or medicine, or at least to the ars dictaminis, which offered training in composition and secretarial duties and which had become popular in many schools by 1200. Within arts faculties intellectual interest centred on logic or dialectic, which had grown much more technical with the arrival of the 'new logic', the previously unknown works of
1 The emergence of the questio in twelfth-century schools is mentioned in ch. 15.i above.
Aristotle. These had become available at Paris by about 1150, and logic had progressively expanded at the expense of the rest of the arts syllabus. The structure of study increasingly rested upon this Aristotelian logic, conceived as a way of handling propositions derived from authority. Grammar was being abandoned in the interests of philosophy and law:
Artes diu floruerunt, --- Once the arts men were in clover;
et, ut leges regnaverunt, --- now that law has taken over
artes sunt inutiles; --- arts7 no longer seems to pay.
leges sedent super thronum --- Law is sitting on the throne
et eructant verbum bonum --- belching out good words alone
omni die septies. 2 --- seven times in every day.
Conservatives were increasingly disquieted by the way the new masters, 'neglecting the rules of the arts and abandoning authoritative texts, catch flies of empty verbiage like spiders in their webs'. 3 There was a real fall in the literary quality of the works of the magistri: to turn from John of Salisbury or Gerald of Wales to the publications of the mid-thirteenth century is a shock to the system. It has even been called 'the century without Rome', a desert in which the streams of classical humanism, so fruitful in the twelfth century, dried out until their renewal in Italy in a succeeding age.
The change was important, but its nature should not be misunderstood. Apart from the fact that a good knowledge of the classics was far from unusual in the thirteenth century, a literary change does not necessarily imply the abandonment of humane values. Interest in nature could be better sustained on the basis of the 'natural books' of Aristotle, now becoming available, than of older materials, and Sir Richard Southern has emphasized that the reality was not so much a flight from humanism as an engagement with more technical studies, which could no longer be contained in a pleasing literary format. 4 In the twelfth century natura had been personified as the handmaid of God, and the properties of natural objects were examined because they were thought to convey truths to mankind. There was little investigation of natural causes, and only
2 K. Strecker, Moralische-Satirische Gedichte Walters von Châtillon ( Heidelberg, 1929), 8, with a reference to Ps. 95: 1. It is an addition in one manuscript and not, I suspect, by Walter himself. The resentment of arts men at the promotion of lawyers in the hierarchy has been mentioned above, ch. 16. vi.
3 Bishop Stephen of Tournai, cited L. J. Paetow, The Arts Course at the Medieval Universities ( Champaign, 1910), 31 n.
4 R. W. Southern, Medieval Humanism and other Studies ( Oxford, 1970), 31 ff.
rarely was knowledge based on observation. There was, in other words, no 'science' as we understand it.
The development of scientific disciplines was to take many centuries, but the thirteenth century made a significant start, which can be ascribed to three influences. The first was the arrival of translations of the works of Aristotle and his commentators, which not only provided information about the natural order (for example on magnetism), but offered a coherent philosophy of motion and causation. Oxford and Paris reacted differently to the new material. In matters of theology Oxford was conservative, continuing to base its teaching firmly upon Biblical glosses, and showing relatively little interest in the philosophical issues presented by Aristotle, Avicenna, and Averroës. Conversely the 'natural books' of Aristotle continued to be expounded at Oxford when they were prohibited at Paris, and Oxford scholars showed a keen interest in obtaining material from Greek and Arabic. The outstanding figure was Robert Grosseteste, master of the schools and then bishop of Lincoln until his death in 1253. The basis of his philosophy was the theory that the universe is ultimately composed of light, and he initiated some significant experimental work in optics. He learned Greek and produced a new translation of pseudo-Dionysius and the definitive verson of the Ethics of Aristotle, and his pupil Roger Bacon pursued the themes of translation, experiment, and observation. Such studies were not confined to the universities: after Frederick II returned to Sicily in 1220 he conducted an energetic scientific programme. His protégé Michael Scot translated the works of Averroës, and Frederick corresponded with Islamic rulers about astronomy and mathematics. In addition to the pervasive influence of Aristotle there was an increasing interest in mathematics, based on other Arabic texts: an important supplement to Aristotle, who had not given it priority in his scientific works. There was a strong mathematical influence at Oxford, but the most creative thinker was Leonardo Fibonacci of Pisa, whose Book of the Abacus ( 1202) was not equalled for several more centuries in its grasp of theory. Alongside this was a third influence upon natural studies: the detailed work of practitioners. Accurate observation is much more evident in thirteenth-century writing than previously. Famous examples are the careful descriptions in Frederick II's Art of Falconry (De arte venandi cum avibus), and the medical writing of William of Saliceto at Bologna ( 1215-80). Frederick's specific objective in his book was stated as the description of things as they really are, and he criticized the great master Aristotle for his failure to found his views on observation.
It is tempting to see these developments as laying the foundations of modern science, but there are serious obstacles to doing so. Experiment remained a very minor element, and progress was to be hampered for a long time by studies which ultimately were discovered to be pointless, in particular astrology, which was an important discipline at Bologna and to which Frederick II attached great weight. There are therefore difficulties in seeing Robert Grosseteste or Roger Bacon as the remote ancestors of modern science. Nevertheless, the achievements are significant: scholars had a far clearer sense of causation and of the value of observation in controlling and supplementing what could be learned from authority. A new sense of natural regularity and causation had been achieved by the middle of the century, and it was to have very varied effects in the following decades. It can be perceived in the growth of ideas of natural law and in a stronger awareness of the state and of political necessity; in the more natural and biographical approach to the saints, whose lives were no longer a collection of miracles; and in the naturalistic painting which followed in the work of Giotto. These assumptions asked severe questions of the theologians, and can be seen behind the Thomist system, with its recognition of the autonomy of the natural order and its clear subdivision of the universe into natural and supernatural, nature and grace. They also nurtured a real scepticism, which was expressed in the so-called Averroism of the 1270s and subsequently in the logic of Occam. It would be much too much to say that by 1250 man had come of age; but he was beginning to find his feet and explore the world around him.
ii. Theology: from Pastoral Care to Speculation
The thirteenth century was one of the most creative periods in theology. It saw the promulgation of a definition of the faith with universally binding authority, the creation of scholastic theology, and the reception of Aristotle into Christian thought. Its greatest achievements lie just after 1250, with the innovative work of Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas, Bonaventure, and Siger of Brabant, and this section will be concerned with preliminary stages behind their work. The declaration of faith in canon 1 of the Fourth Lateran Council was regarded as fully authoritative by subsequent synods, and sometimes described as symbola, the standard word for 'creed'. It was to be explained to clergy and set out 'in ordinary speech' to their parishioners. 5 The teaching of twelfth-century theology about the Trinity, Christology, eucharist, and sacraments had thus been adopted by the highest authority for universal dissemination. It is significant that the expression 'article of faith' ( articulus fidei ) began to supersede the older and more general term 'rule of faith' ( regula fidei ). The idea that faith was the acceptance of a series of statements or articles promulgated by authority was beginning to shape the teaching of the church and the progress of scholasticism.
In 1200 Paris theology was pastoral theology. That had not always been the case: the more speculative style of Abelard and Gilbert de la Porée was once a source of worry to those of a more conservative cast of mind. 6 In the later part of the twelfth century this approach had gone out of fashion, especially in the teaching of Peter the Chanter (died 1197), an outstanding representative of the pastoral approach. He was strenuously opposed to controversial writing based on philosophical divergences: 'the schools of theology should be the house of unity, and we should walk with consent in the house of God. Some people make divisions in them as in secular letters, realists and nominalists'. He included preaching as one of the three functions of a theology professor, along with lecturing and disputing. 7 His works were designed to provide a basis for sermons: he was the first master to compose a commentary on the whole Bible, with brief glosses of a literal kind, and his notes were directed towards practical issues of morality and penance. This attitude had foundations in earlier Paris tradition, in the Victorines, to some extent in Peter Lombard, and in Peter Comestor's Historia scholastica ; and it enjoyed enormous influence under the favour of Innocent III. Its continuation seemed to be guaranteed by the settlement at Paris of the Franciscans and Dominicans, who had been drawn there for training in preaching and the refutation of heresy, and certainly not for philosophical instruction -- in 1228 the Preachers were forbidden to study the books of the Gentiles and the philosophers. 8 True, this is
5 Statutes of Salisbury I c. 3 (1217/9) and Exeter, I c. 1 (1225/37), C&S II.i.61, 228. For the character of the creed itself see ch. 17. vii.
6 For Paris theology before the middle of the twelfth century see briefly in ch. 15.i above.
7 J. W. Baldwin, Masters, Princes and Merchants ( Princeton, 1970), ii. 69, 91-2.
8 H. Denifle and A. Chatelain (ed.), Chartularium Universitatis Parisiensis ( Paris, 1889-97), i.57.
not the whole story of Paris theology at the beginning of the thirteenth century. In the preceding decades the Porretani, followers of Gilbert, had maintained more speculative interests, making extensive use of Boethius, welcoming new Greek material in translation and attempting to define the nature and methodology of theological knowledge. This Gilbertine outlook could not be wholly lost, for a good deal of it was incorporated in the authoritative Sentences of Peter Lombard, but it had few continuators after 1200. Alan of Lille died far away from Paris in 1202, and the brilliant dialectician Simon of Tournai died in 1201, a career failure who had gained little preferment and who was the target of anecdotes about his arrogance. There was a long road to travel from the conservative dominance of 1200 to the innovating spirit of fifty years later.
It must be noted, none the less, that even scholarship designed for practical ends became increasingly technical. One of the first of the massive aids to preaching was the collection of key-words or Distinctiones to clarify Biblical images and concepts, and these catalogues were arranged alphabetically or thematically. Early examples were the much used Distinctiones Abel of Peter the Chanter (c. 1190) and the Liber in distinctionibus of Alan of Lille (before 1195). The most outstanding worker in this field was Hugh of St Cher, who held one of the two Dominican chairs of theology at St Jacques from 1230 to 1236 and who became a cardinal in 1244. He produced glosses or postills on the Bible which were in enormous demand. He also collaborated with other Dominicans in the preparation of an alphabetical concordance to the Bible, which was followed soon after 1250 by similar reference books to the works of the Fathers. The use of material of this kind required a standard text and conventional divisions, and the system of chapter enumeration in the books of the Bible which is now in use made its appearance, probably in the later works of Stephen Langton. This type of technical apparatus was designed for both scholars and preachers. About 1220 Cardinal Peter of Capua explained that he had written the Alphabetum to help the scholars of Paris in their studies and the clergy of Rome in their preaching. It must have been far above the heads of the majority of the clergy and of value only to those with a university training and access to a good library. Moreover, because it was one of the purposes of postills to provide a large volume of earlier material, authors found it difficult to express clearly their own point of view. It is striking that the mendicants Hugh of St Cher, Alexander of Hales, and Johnof La Rochelle were actually less demanding in their call to obey the Gospel than had been Peter the Chanter before them. The friars were caught up in the technicalities of work in the schools until the decisive breach between them and the secular masters, shortly after 1250, raised more fundamental issues.
The structure of the Paris theology course, moreover, did not allow even the most cautious master to exclude philosophical speculation entirely. Peter the Chanter listed disputation as one of the duties of a master, and the discussion of difficult issues outside the framework of a set text could be wide-ranging, especially as the tendency to separate the questions from the commentary proper gained strength. The emergence of the new discussions for all comers, disputationes quodlibetales, which had a free agenda, allowed still more room for radical questions. Students in theology, moreover, had read the arts syllabus, and were bound to import into theology problems which were by origin philosophical. Peter the Chanter had complained about this, and John of St Giles echoed him in remarking that when masters of arts 'come to the faculty of theology, they can scarcely be detached from their (profane) knowledge, as some of them show, who in their theology cannot be separated from Aristotle, . . . posing philosophical questions and opinions'. 9 However much some masters might deplore it, their criticisms show that there was elbow-room for a speculative approach. This was given real significance by the arrival at Paris of the works of Aristotle.
Certain logical treatises of Aristotle had been known to western scholars for centuries, and his other logical works, forming the socalled 'new logic', had been available at Paris since about 1150. By 1200 a large new instalment of his writing had arrived, the books of natural philosophy or 'natural books'. These included the Physica, De anima, De caelo, De generatione, and Meteora. The appearance of these works was the consequence of activity by translators in southern Europe, where it was possible to gain access to the manuscripts of the originals. Leaders of the movement were James of Venice and Burgundio of Pisa (died 1193) from Greek, and a team at Toledo translating from Arabic, led by Gerard of Cremona (died 1187) and Dominic Gundisalvi. The history of Aristotle's impact on western thought would be easier to understand if straightforward translations of his works had arrived, but this was far from being the case. One influential text, the De causis, was attributed to Aristotle but was
9 Cited G. Leff, Paris and Oxford Universities ( New York and London, 1968), 199.
really by Proclus, a thorough Neoplatonist whose philosophy was of a very different kind. The commentaries of Avicenna, which arrived in the same wave of translation, were designed to set Aristotle's works within a Neoplatonist scheme. By 1240 another important set of commentaries was reaching Paris, those by Averroeuës in the version of Michael Scot, with a much more materialist, indeed atheistic, interpretation than that of Avicenna. The impact of all this material was bound to be great, because up to this time western philosophy had been almost wholly dominated by logic. With few exceptions thinkers had known little about the Neoplatonic philosophy of being, and even less about Greek concepts of the natural order. The unfamiliarity of the new scheme of learning is indicated by the use of the generic term 'natural books' in implicit contrast with the logical literature which they already possessed. To call this material 'Aristotle' is at best a convenient shorthand, for it contained a mass of natural and philosophical speculation, some of it diverging widely from the true positions of Aristotle.
We can see something of the effect of the new learning in the decree of the synod of the province of Sens, meeting at Paris in 1210, which condemned the teaching of Amaury of Bène and David of Dinant and ordered that 'neither Aristotle's books of natural philosophy nor the commentaries shall be read at Paris in public or in private'. 10 The conservatives who dominated the theology faculty had clearly become alarmed and moved to suppress the arts lectures on the natural books and Avicenna. Not much is known of the occasion for the ban. Amaury of Bène was a master of arts who, before his death c. 1206, had won converts to his views around Paris, but his doctrine was an extreme pantheism which could hardly have come from Avicenna. David of Dinant, on the other hand, was a knowledgeable Aristotelian who had arrived at firmly materialistic conclusions from his study. If, as is reasonable to suppose, he was teaching arts at Paris, he offers a remarkably early illustration of the possibility of shaping a coherent non-Christian philosophy from the natural books. The conservatives secured the assistance of papal authority: Robert of Courson as legate renewed the ban in 1215, and in 1231 Gregory IX appointed a commission with the formidable task of removing the errors from the prohibited books. Unsurprisingly it never reported and the books remained banned until Roger Bacon began to lecture on them in 1245. It seems that the ban was
10 Chartularium, i. 11, 12.
designed to prevent lectures on the books in the arts faculty at Paris and that they continued to be lectured on at Oxford and in the highly orthodox university of Toulouse. The regulation had the paradoxical effect that until after 1250 we must look for the impact of the new Aristotle on Paris theology and not on arts.
As one would expect, the conservatives in the early years of the century were not welcoming to Aristotle, and rarely quoted his works. He was used much more by the Porretan masters Alan of Lille and Simon of Tournai, the latter of whom treated the word 'philosophy' as synonymous with 'the teaching of Aristotle', although it is not clear whether the references in his Disputations, which must have been completed well before 1200, show knowledge of the natural books. The conservative polemic is well represented in a sermon of James of Vitry:
We can take some things from the philosophers which contribute to our own interests. Boethius, indeed, in De consolatione is thoroughly catholic and moral. The others however said much that is false and vain, like Plato who said the planets were gods and Aristotle who laid down that the world was eternal. So there is much to beware of in the natural books, as they are called, and we are in danger of error from too much inquiry . . . Since therefore theological books are enough for a Christian, it is not appropriate of him to be too much occupied with the natural books. 11
This reactionary attitude did not persist, and theologians' writing between 1220 and 1240 began to show marked influence from the ideas of Aristotle and Avicenna. The earliest example is William of Auxerre, whose Summa Aurea (two recensions between 1215 and 1229) contains a hundred quotations from Aristotle and shows a discreet use of his ideas. The Dominican master Roland of Cremona's Summa Theologica (1232/4) drew heavily on William of Auxerre, but also quoted Aristotle abundantly -- surprisingly, in view of the Dominican prohibition on the use of pagan authors. A more original use of the new learning can be found in the Summa de Bono of Philip the Chancellor (1228/36) and the Magisterium divinale ac sapientale of William of Auvergne (1223/36), and in Alexander of Hales, whose Summa was incomplete at his death in 1245. These theologians were addressing a range of philosophical issues which had previously not been under discussion, except in a limited way among followers of Gilbert de la Porée. It has often been said in the past
11 James of Vitry, Sermo ad scolares, cited FM 13, 194 n.
that western thought was dominated by the philosophy of St Augustine until that came under attack from Aristotelian thought in the thirteenth century, but it is nearer the truth to recognize that thinkers before 1200 did not possess a coherent natural philosophy, nor the means of constructing one. The influence of Augustine was enormous, but it was theological and doctrinal. It is a matter of opinion whether Christianity in the west has been enriched or damaged by the attempt to set it within a specific philosophical framework, but it is a fact that the continuous history of this attempt goes back to the reflections of the Paris theologians on the natural books in the years after 1220. The issues which were raised there were numerous, but they were arranged round a central theme. The coherent statement of Neoplatonism which they encountered in the De causis and in Avicenna saw the universe as an ordered hierarchy of being, stretching from the pure being of the Godhead to the physical universe, which was subject to fluctuation, contingency, and the operation of regular causation. Such a world-view posed questions of Christian thinkers at almost every point: about its correlation with the Biblical revelation; about the source of human knowledge and the nature of the 'active intellect' which made it possible to formulate general statements; and about the relationship between the observable universe and the ideas or forms which underlie it. These discussions in turn generated attempts to provide an account of the reasons for belief in the existence of God and of the character of theology as a subject. In William of Auvergne it is clear that these issues had become central concerns for the theologian. Although critical of Aristotle, he used the new ideas extensively and showed heavy dependence on a Spanish philosopher, the Jewish scholar Avicebron (died c. 1058), whom he described as 'the noblest of all philosophers'.
While William of Auvergne and Philip the Chancellor had begun to use the new learning in the formation of scholastic theology, their thought is still only in the ante-room of the great systems of the later Middle Ages. In particular, they used Averroës so little that it is doubtful whether they knew his work at first hand. His reductionist view of Aristotle's philosophy stripped away a good deal of the metaphysical speculation which surrounded it in Avicenna and brought it closer to the original. For the next generation of thinkers the knowledge of the authentic Aristotle was increased by translation work of high quality such as the version of the Ethics by Grosseteste and the Politics by the Dominican William of Moerbeke. Aquinas was much closer to a genuine understanding of the ideas of Aristotle than had been possible for his predecessors, and with it the new synthesis of Thomism became conceivable. The first theologian to be strongly influenced by Averroës was the Dominican Albertus Magnus, who was at Paris from 1242 to 1248. His early works showed a genuine grasp of Averroism but had not yet arrived at a new synthesis. Albert moved, with his pupil Thomas Aquinas, from Paris to Cologne in 1248, and the new philosophical theology was shaped after that date.
iii. Joachim of Fiore: a New Eschatology
While Paris theologians were developing their speculations about the natural order and the place of revealed religion within it, other thinkers rejected their philosophical approach and sought in the Scriptures a guide to the past, present and future of the world. The crucial figure was Joachim of Fiore. He had been born some time after 1135, and by 1177 he had become abbot of the Benedictine house of Corazzo in southern Italy. Attracted by the Cistercian way of life, he applied to have his abbey affiliated to the order, and in 1183-4 he was staying in the Cistercian abbey of Casamari to receive training in its customs. Soon afterwards, however, he withdrew in pursuit of contemplation to the remote Sila plateau and founded the abbey of San Giovanni da Fiore. In 1192 the Cistercian general chapter was threatening him with action as a 'fugitive' monk, but Joachim continued as abbot of Fiore until his death in March 1202.
Joachim's career as a prophet began with an experience at Casamari when he received 'a revelation of the fullness of the Apocalypse and of the complete agreement of the Old and New Testaments' and a vision of the nature of the Trinity. 12 Shortly after this he began to compose his major works, the Concord of the Old and New Testament, the Exposition of the Apocalypse, and the Ten-stringed Lute. 13 His announcement of a coming eschatological crisis made him famous, and he was interviewed by some of the most powerful men of the time, including Popes Lucius III and Urban III, the Emperor Henry VI and, during his Mediterranean crusade, Richard I
12 Cited B. McGinn, Apocalyptic Spirituality ( London, 1979), 99
13 The Concordia novi et veteris Testamenti, Expositio in Apocalypsim, and Psalterium decem chordarum were all written and rewritten between 1182 and 1200.
of England. Contemporaries regarded him as a prophet, but he saw himself essentially as an interpreter of the Scriptures, and told the Cistercian Abbot Adam of Persigny that he had no prophecy nor conjecture nor revelation about future events, but that God had given him the spirit of understanding, to comprehend all the mysteries of Holy Scripture. 14 Joachim redefined the accepted methods of Biblical interpretation. Most commentators were concerned to discover the moral and spiritual truths which underlay the Scriptural letter, truths which were necessarily the same from one generation to another. Joachim, on the other hand, saw the power of the Spirit as manifested not in unchanging truths, but in the transformation of the historical order. It was an established method of interpretation to seek for concords or types, similarities between the Old and New Testament; such a method had governed Suger's ambition scheme of decoration at Saint-Denis. Joachim's originality was in their use as a method of understanding the future. He saw them as landmarks: 'every traveller who goes forward until the route ahead is unclear finds the correct way to proceed by looking backward'. 15 His thought was pictorial, not logical in structure. It is expressed most vividly in a collection of diagrams, the Book of Figures, which was probably assembled by his followers but is close to Joachim's thinking. The function of these images was not to formulate dogma but to elucidate God's operations in history. Joachim saw himself as studying a 'living order' or 'the transfer of grace from people to people and one kingdom to another people'. 16 Religious teachings were of value according to the historical context in which they were set; they were, in a phrase which contrasts dramatically with the ideas of the Paris theologians, 'good in their time'. 17
The historical order, evolving under the direction of the Spirit, was now reaching the time of crisis. Joachim saw this as an immediate one. His calculation of forty-two generations from Christ would point to 1260 as the time of Antichrist's coming, but there are signs that he regarded the crisis as closer than this. His concept of the coming new order was still more striking. He did not expect, as in earlier tradition, that the overthrow of Antichrist would bring the Last Judgement and the end of the world. On the contrary, he
14 See M. Reeves, The Influeuce of Prophecy in the Later Middle Ages ( Oxford, 1969), 13.
15 B. McGinn, Apocalyptic Spirituality, 123.
16 Tractatus super Quatuor Evangelia, ed. E. Buonaiuti ( Rome, 1930), 309.
17 Psalterium decem chordarum ( Venice, 1527), 265 b.
thought that it would usher in a new age of history. Human history was to consist of three status or ages, which he classified variously as those of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; Old Testament, New Testament, and spiritual understanding; laity, clergy, and monks. Where St Augustine had seen a single historical period, the 'sixth day', as extending from Christ to the end of the world, and Gregory the Great thought of the church as identical with the kingdom of heaven, Joachim regarded the 'seventh day' as a solidly historical period, shortly to be reached by the renewal of the church. 18 The church of Peter was to be replaced by the church of John, the clergy by monks, the New Testament by spiritual understanding or by 'an eternal Gospel to proclaim to those who shall dwell on the earth' ( Rev. 14: 6). This age would be introduced by signs which caught the imagination of contemporaries, including those who did not accept the scheme as a whole. Joachim believed that he could read the time of the approaching crisis from events such as the loss of Jerusalem in 1187 and the death of Frederick Barbarossa on the Third Crusade. These he interpreted within a rigorous system of parallels between the chronology of Old Testament history, and that of the New Testament and the church. He anticipated the coming of two new religious orders with a special task of preparing the way and envisaged a heroic role for a pope. The papacy had not hitherto figured much in eschatology, and this element in Joachim is the beginning of the later hopes of an angelic pope who would return the church to righteousness and humility. These ideas distanced Joachim from many of the influential movements in the contemporary world. His alienation from Paris theology was expressed in a sharp attack on Peter Lombard's doctrine of the Trinity and resulted in the rejection of Joachim's criticism by the Fourth Lateran Council. The episode was a shock to his followers in spite of a personal tribute to him which sweetened it. His expectation of a monastic age embodying the perfection of the church separated him from the universities and the papal curia, two of the dynamic forces of the period. It was almost a reversion to the age and the ideals of St Bernard. Joachim felt a strong sympathy for movements of poverty and simplicity, but he was not close to the urban pressures which were to give rise to the friars; contemplation, rather than either poverty or preaching, lay at the heart of his thought. He even stood at a distance from the Cistercians. There is
18 For the view of Gregory the Great, see PL 76.104 A.
little in his work reminiscent of the Bernardine experience of God's presence at an individual level: Joachim's gaze is fixed on the new order. He was a backwoodsman, in touch with few of the ideas which were dominant in society, but he was a radical backwoodsman whose dislike of what was happening led him to modify Augustinian eschatology, with its near identification of the present church with the kingdom of God, and to propose an original alternative. Joachim was the first medieval thinker to have a clear idea of a great social transformation to take place within history. The source of this new perception is not clear. Greek and Jewish ideas were readily accessible in southern Italy, but it is hard to see that their contribution was more than marginal. There is a clearer connection with the German 'historical' school represented by Rupert of Deutz, Anselm of Havelberg, and Gerhoh of Reichersberg. Joachim shared their awareness of progress within the history of the church, their flamboyant use of imagery and their distrust of the French magistri. His exegesis is his own, however, and he believed that it had been shown him by God. It would be a mistake to erode the large area of originality within Joachim's thinking.
Radical thinkers, especially among the Franciscans, were soon to use these ideas for their own purposes. In the discontinuity between the second and third status they saw the overthrow of existing institutions and their replacement by a church guided by the Spirit into all truth. Historians have disagreed over whether Joachim intended these revolutionary implications. Marjorie Reeves has argued that a more conservative reading would be nearer to his thinking. In particular it is characteristic of his use of symbols that each age is not severed from the others, but continues to embody their characteristics. The replacement of the church of Peter by the church of John would thus represent the purification of the papacy rather than its abolition and would be consistent with Joachim's readiness to submit his works to papal approval. He left unclear the relations between the emerging monastic order and the clergy and laity in the third age, but he does not seem to be talking about the equal sharing of the Spirit among all believers, the ultimate spiritual democracy which appeared about the same time among the followers of Amaury of Bène. Moreover, the agent of the change is the Holy Trinity. We are a long way from a revolution attained by huuman effort. Yet, while accepting these qualifications, it is right to insist on the revolutionary character of Joachim's thought. It may be significant that his Treatise on the Four Gospels stressed the radical elements in the expectation of the third age. It is a summary work, which makes more evident the cutting edge of his thought, and with a probable date between 1200 and 1202 it seems to represent his final view on the subject. Joachim also contributed to the vocabulary of revolution. Up to his time the word and its cognates ( revolutio, revolvere ) had been used to describe the revolution of the stars in their courses. Joachim gave it a solidly historical meaning by using it to describe the turning of the pages of sacred history, and he is reasonably consistent in this usage: semantically, the language of revolution is more common in his pages than the language of reform. God's purpose in history is revolvere not reformare. The gap between Joachim and the Spiritual Franciscans is large, and the distance to travel before there is any thought of a man-made revolution very much larger. But a watershed is crossed here: God is seen as the agent of change, which is implicit in his very nature as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; and the technical term for this change is 'revolution'.
iv. The Influence of Joachim
Thirteenth-century Italy was filled with eschatological excitement, in part because the events themselves seemed laden with apocalyptic meaning: the loss of Jerusalem in 1187, the new religion of the friars, the bitter dispute of empire and papacy which finally erupted in 1239, and the coming of the Tartars. The special importance of Joachim was to provide a scheme which made these events comprehensible, and in particular to identify them as pointing to the coming of Antichrist and the subsequent renewal. It was to be prepared by two orders, one of preachers, 'perfect men, preserving the life of Christ and the apostles', and the other 'of hermits imitating the life of the angels'. 19 Their identification as Dominicans and Franciscans proved irresistible, and there was also some basis in Joachim for the presentation of the emperor as Antichrist as papal propaganda demanded. The early history of his influence is obscure, but some channels can be traced. One was the order of Fiore. Joachim had founded two major houses, San Giovanni da Fiore and Fonte Laureato, and the order spread until by 1250 it was close to its maximum of fifty houses, all in southern or central Italy. Many were
19 Cited B. McGinn, Visions of the End ( New York, 1979), 136.
not new foundations but Benedictine or Basilian houses which had adopted the Florensian rule. At first there were great hopes for the order, and in 1234 Gregory IX's bull Fons sapientie mentioned the Florensians side by side with the Benedictines and Cistercians. Perhaps because of the rival attractions of the friars, expansion stopped and no houses were founded north of Tuscany. There was also a wider circulation of his ideas, which within twenty years of his death in 1202 were being mentioned by writers north of the Alps. In all these cases he appeared primarily as a prophet of the arrival of Antichrist, without any mention of the third age, and his image was inevitably tarnished by the condemnation of his ideas on the Trinity at the Lateran Council.
A more specific, and in the long run more important, area for the operation of his ideas was the Franciscan order. The chronicler Salimbene tells us of the arrival of a Florensian abbot at Pisa shortly after 1240, bringing with him manuscripts of Joachim, and by 1248 Salimbene knew of an influential circle of Joachites at Hyères in Provence led by Hugh of Digne, the friend of John of Parma, minister-general 1247-57. There is still no mention of 'third-age' thinking, and the evidence strictly interpreted suggests that Joachite influence on the friars came late and in a conservative form. This, however, may be an understatement. There is no reason to suppose that the Pisan connection was the only one, and in 1247 we find brother Giles welcoming the election of the Joachite John of Parma as minister-general, a hint of alignment between Joachites and the original followers of Francis. By 1254/5 an aggressive interpretation of Joachism in the Introduction to the Eternal Gospel of Gerard of Borgo San Donnino was causing a scandal at Paris. There was also a Commentary on Jeremiah which emphasized the radical features of Joachim's thought: the need for the reform of the present church, the expectation of the third age and the stress on the persecution of spiritual men as a sign of the end. The book was ascribed to Joachim, but was certainly written after his death, probably betwen 1238 and 1243. Its ideas later exercised a strong influence on the Spiritual Franciscans, but scholars are not agreed whether the book was written in Franciscan circles or by followers of Joachim among the Cistercian or Florensian monasteries. It therefore remains uncertain whether radical Joachism can be traced back among the Franciscans before 1250. Of its later importance there can be no doubt. final area where Joachim's influence can be traced was the controversy between Frederick II and the papacy. After the second excommunication in 1239 the dispute was waged in apocalyptic language on both sides, in a way for which there is no previous parallel. It was not all Joachism, by any means. Frederick's language was based on the old Last Emperor tradition, heightened by panegyric designed to present him as a renewer of the world order, and his birthplace Jesi as a second Nazareth. On the papal side the emperor's interest in scientific learning and his collaboration with Islamic advisers formed the basis for accusations which, supported by Frederick's own exaggerated language, made it possible to present him as Antichrist. This was the theme of the extraordinary manifestoes of Cardinal Rainer of Viterbo in 1245, in which Frederick appeared as 'the corrupter of the world' and 'the disturber and the hammer of the whole earth'. The extent to which a knowledge of Joachim contributed to this propaganda is questionable, but there are some signs of the involvement of clearly Joachite groups in the conflict. The Dominican Arnold in Suabia in 1248-50 was looking forward to a third age which would be inaugurated by Frederick II and the Dominicans -- the first unambiguously political use of the 'third age' concept. On the other side the Commentary on Jeremiah, in spite of its critical attitude to ecclesiastical authority, cast Frederick II as Antichrist. His failure to survive until the crisis year of 1260 was a blow to these new Joachites, and Salimbene recorded that it was one of his own reasons for abandoning Joachism. By this time the foundations of a new eschatology had been laid and its acceptance was spreading among radicals.
There were other intellectual forces which pointed thirteenthcentury men towards a sustained attempt to predict the future. They had, or thought they had, new sources of information. Earlier centuries had taken seriously the utterances of the classical Sibyls, and these were now supplemented by the prophecies of Merlin and the study of astrology. Once the accurate observation of the movements of planets and stars became available through Arabic learning, it seemed possible to arrive at precise predictions based on scientific observations. Frederick II and other rulers allowed the timing of their decisions to be dictated by the advice of astrologers: Frederick was counselled by Michael Scot, the translator of Averrroës. Astrology and the prophetic texts were not popular absurdities, but the legitimate concern of learned men, and belong to the history, not of superstition, but to that of discredited science. Shortly after the middle of the thirteenth century the English scholar Roger Bacon was arguing for a serious programme of research on such materials, in order that the future might be known and impending evils circumvented.
The new structure of hope propounded by Joachim, the keen anticipation of the Last Day, and the use of materials which might be considered scientific were all new features of the thirteenth-century scene. There were also large parts of society which were unaffected by these trends, and who fixed their hopes not on the cosmic deliverance shortly to come, but on the delivery of the individual in face of judgement. Essentially this was the Augustinian scheme, with two important modifications which had already appeared in the twelfth century but which now were taken further. One of these was a more interior piety, among laity as well as clergy. The believer was urged to place himself in the presence of his judge, and to reflect on the answer he must make there. Whatever prehistory the Dies Irae may have had before 1200, it attained its classical shape and popular dissemination in the thirteenth century. The Apocalypse was translated into French verse in several versions and provided with a prose commentary which originated in the second quarter of the century. The stress was upon Christian discipleship and austerity ( âpreté de vie ), with almost no attempt to use contemporary events as a basis for future expectation. The concentration on the individual soul and its salvation was also apparent in the definition of the new deathbed ceremonial in the synodal constitutions of the time. They included confession and the making of the will, which would include a commendation of the soul to God and legacies to the church. Extreme unction was recommended in legislation, but was not in general use. The prescriptions for a pious death for the layman were now clear, and relatively easy to achieve; a great contrast with the uncertainty of the lay situation at the beginning of our period.
The other modification was the increasing importance attached to the doctrine of purgatory. It was expounded by the Paris theologians, including William of Auvergne and Alexander of Hales, and began to figure as a specifically Latin position in controversies with the Greeks. On 6 March 1254 Innocent IV, writing to his legate in the east, Odo of Châteauroux, stressed the need for the Greeks to accept the doctrine of purgatory. This already indicated its official adoption, and it was to be approved at the Second Council of Lyon in 1274. The effect was to make eschatology even more individual than it had been in the theology of Augustine, for the soul was now thought of as being assigned at death to heaven, hell, or purgatory. The Last Judgement continued to be depicted in churches, but its significance was now to represent the choice facing the individual at death. The thirteenth century therefore saw the dissolution of the consensus about the church's expectations which had, by and large, marked the previous period. There were now groups who looked for an end within a generation, and who sometimes hoped for a future of a revolutionary kind, while the Augustinian tradition not only remained the dominant one in the church as a whole, but had been developed to a point where all expectation was fixed upon the moment of death. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that, under the influence of this development, the great majority of christians was ceasing to have any eschatology at all.
[Continue to PART III - Chapter 21]
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